UN peacekeeper killed in Sudan's Darfur

2011-11-07 22:30

Khartoum - Unidentified gunmen killed one UN peacekeeper and injured two others in an attack on a patrol in Sudan's war-ravaged Darfur region, the United Nations said on Monday.

The deadly attack, near the South Darfur capital Nyala on Sunday, was the second of its kind in less than a month, and coincided with the Muslim Eid al-Adha feast.

"As a result, one soldier was killed and two other were wounded. All the casualties were from Sierra Leone," the hybrid UN-African Union mission in Darfur (Unamid) said.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Unamid chief Ibrahim Gambari both strongly condemned the attack.

"I am deeply distressed by and in the strongest terms denounce all violence on our peacekeepers who work relentlessly to bring security and protection to the people of Darfur," Gambari said.

"Any attack on international peacekeepers is a war crime, and we will ensure that justice will be served," he added.

The peacekeeping mission said it had apprehended a suspect who was handed over to the Sudanese police, after conducting a search of the area.

300 000 died

Earlier the UN Secretary General said he expected the Khartoum government to "swiftly bring those responsible for this reprehensible act to justice", according to his spokesperson.

Gambari also expressed his "deepest condolences" to the family, friends and colleagues of the fallen peace keeper, saying the attack was "especially deplorable as it coincided with the holy occasion of Eid al-Adha".

The victim of Sunday's attack brought to 34 the number of peacekeepers killed in Darfur since the force was deployed in 2007 in a bid to halt hostilities between rebels and the Khartoum government.

Last month, three Unamid peacekeepers, including two Rwandan soldiers and one Senegalese police advisor, were killed in an ambush at the Zamzam refugee camp in North Darfur.

The world body says at least 300 000 people have died since the uprising started in 2003, when non-Arab rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime. The government puts the death toll at 10 000.