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Ban deeply concerned over uptick in attacks against peacekeepers in Darfur

In a statement issued yesterday evening, the UN spokesperson’s office said the Secretary-General condemned the two successive attacks by unidentified armed groups that occurred in Kass, South Darfur on 23 and 24 April. The first attack, on 23 April, took place at around 6:00 p.m., when around 40 gunmen on horses and camels opened fire on African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) troops protecting a water point. The attackers made off with one of the Mission’s vehicles after shooting the driver. The peacekeepers pursued and recovered the vehicle. Four attackers were killed during the exchange and two peacekeepers injured, along with one of the attackers.The following morning, a UNAMID patrol travelling from Nyala was attacked near the Mission’s base in Kass. Four peacekeepers were injured during the exchange of fire. “The Secretary-General urges the Government of Sudan to ensure that the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice and take all necessary action to avoid further attacks on or threats against peacekeepers in Darfur,” the statement said, outlining that UNAMID had launched its own investigation into the incidents. In addition, it noted that Mr. Ban deeply regretted the Government of Sudan’s denial of a flight request for the emergency medical evacuation of an injured Ethiopian peacekeeper. The peacekeeper died hours later. “The Secretary-General underscores the need for the Government of Sudan and the United Nations to work in full cooperation, especially in the context of the ongoing discussion on the UNAMID exit strategy,” the statement continued. Mr. Ban also expressed his “appreciation and support” to UNAMID and its troops for their “tireless efforts to implement their mandate.” read more