Ban condemns Sudanese army”s attack on UNAMID convey, protests incident


United Nations : Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday condemned in the “strongest possible terms” the Sudanese army’s attack yesterday on a “clearly marked” UN supplies convoy belonging to the UN-AU hybrid force in Darfur, Sudan, (UNAMID), as it was carrying rations for its personnel in West Darfur, his spokesperson Michele Montas said.

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“The Secretary-General condemns this attack in the strongest possible terms and stresses that, for the joint African Union-UN peacekeeping operation to be able to perform its mandated functions, the government of Sudan has to provide unequivocal guarantees that there will be no recurrence of such activities by its forces,” she said.

She added that the UN is lodging a protest with Khartoum.

“This incident underscores the importance of the Government reaffirming its commitment to the deployment of UNAMID and the implementation of Security Council resolution 1769” which established the force. A civilian Sudanese driver suffered seven gunshot wounds during the attack.

A UN statement issued earlier from the area said “unidentified gunmen” carried out the attack in Umm Baru area in West Darfur.

“Initial reports suggest that a Sudanese civilian driver suffered seven shots and is in a critical condition,” the initial statement said.

It added that the area has “witnessed violent clashes between the government of Sudan and rebel movements and UNAMID air operations have been restricted due to the security concerns.” UNAMID, according to the initial statement, did not return fire or sustain troop casualties in the attack. It was investigating the attack.

UNAMID, the UN’s largest force, took over from an African Union mission on January 1. It will, once completed, consist of 20,000 troops and 6,000 police and civilian personnel. Only around 9,000 troops and police are currently deployed.

At least 200,000 people have died and more than two million have fled their homes since the outbreak of fighting between ethnic rebels and the Sudanese army in February 2003.