Darfur — Five members of the RDF serving under the hybrid AU/UN mission in Darfur (UNAMID) died yesterday when a convoy they were escorting fell into an ambush in Shangiya Tobaya, 40km south of El-Fasher in the Sudanese troubled area of Darfur.
RDF spokesman Major Jules Rutaremara told The New Times that 17 others are reported to have been wounded in what is the worst attack against the RDF peacekeepers since they were deployed to the troubled region.
The peacekeepers were part of a protection force that was escorting UNAMID observers which fell into the ambush by heavily armed men with over 40 vehicles mounted with heavy calibre anti-aircraft weapons.
"Our peacekeepers are ill equipped in a situation where they come under attack from heavily armed people," explained Maj. Rutaremara.
The spokesman was echoing existing concerns by many observers, including the UN, who have called on the international community for more and better equipment. Despite the tragedy, Rutaremara said that the RDF would continue with their mission.
"But our mission in Darfur will be marked with more vigilance and self defence," he noted.
The death of the five brings the number of fatalities in war-torn Darfur to 15 since the troops were deployed there in 2004.