Gunmen kill 5 peacekeepers in Darfur attacks

Last Updated: Sunday, December 6, 2009 - 13:40

Cairo: Gunmen killed five Rwandan soldiers in
a series of attacks on the international peacekeeping force in
Darfur, a spokesman for the mission said, marking a swift
upsurge in violence in the western Sudanese region.

The attacks on Friday and Saturday targeted peacekeepers
from the United Nations-African Union force, which deployed
nearly two years ago to protect civilians and improve security
in Darfur.

Fighting between rebels and Sudanese government forces
began there in 2003, killing up to 300,000 people and driving
2.7 million from their homes. The government says those
figures are exaggerated.

That violence has largely subsided, but the two attacks
on peacekeepers demonstrate how vulnerable the under-funded
and ill-equipped UNAMID force remains, as banditry and
kidnappings of foreign aid workers continue to plague efforts
to stabilise the vast desert region.

In yesterday`s attack, assailants approached the gate of
a camp for people displaced by the conflict and shot at
peacekeepers distributing water, said UNAMID spokesman Kemal
Saiki.
The attack took place about 65 kilometres south of
el-Fasher, the capital of northern Darfur.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, December 6, 2009 - 13:40

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