Three Senegalese peacekeepers, part of the combined African Union-UN operation UNAMID, have been killed in West Darfur. They were escorting a water convoy.
The peacekeepers were escorting the water convoy from the town of El Geneina to the UN mission’s regional headquarters in West Darfur when they were ambushed, UNAMID said in a statement.
Together with the three men killed on Sunday, one other Senegalese peacekeeper was wounded. It was the second deadly attack on UNAMID, in three days.
Sudanese troops pursued the unidentified attackers on Sunday and engaged them in a firefight, according to Mohamed Ibn Chambas, UNAMID‘s joint special representative.
There were reports of casualties on both sides. The assailants hijacked a vehicle that was later recovered by the peacekeepers seven kilometers away. Ibn Chambas called the latest attack a “grave criminal act.”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the attack. “All too often, UNAMID peacekeepers are attacked and killed in the line of duty while helping the Sudanese bring peace to Darfur,” Ban said through a spokesman. “These attacks are unacceptable.”
Ban called on the Sudanese government “to bring those responsible to justice.”
UN peacekeepers have increasingly become a target for ambushes and attacks, wiith the assailants aiming to take their vehicles and weapons. The region has been at war for the past decade with the loss of at least 300,000 lives, according to the UN. A UNAMID patrol was ambushed on the same road in October 2012.
jm/ccp (AFP, dpa)