21 December 2012

Sudan: Internal Violence Allegedly Leaves Four Peacekeepers Dead

Mukjar — Four UNAMID peacekeepers were allegedly killed and another severely wounded in Mukjar, Central Darfur, after a verbal argument evolved into shooting, a number of sources informed Radio Dabanga on Thursday, 20 December.

The incident took place on Thursday morning, during a game of chess in a common room at the mission's base.

Witnesses reported to Radio Dabanga that an argument escalated and one of the men left the room and returned with his gun. Upon his return, he opened fire on the four men sitting at the table after which he shot himself. Workers rushed to the room when they heard gunshots and found five men drenched in their own blood, witnesses added. Four of the peacekeepers had died in the meantime, while the fifth was severely injured.

According to the witnesses the gun was found in the hands of one of the fatal victims. UNAMID allegedly provided a plane on the same day to evacuate the corpses as well as to the take the injured victim to Nyala for treatment.

For his part, the commissioner of Mukjar, Hashim Musa Abkar Hassan confirmed the killing of four peacekeepers and the injuring of one. He told Radio Dabanga that the local police commander visited the Mission's regional headquarters and met with the UNAMID commander with the purpose of investigating the incident. The commissioner claimed that the UNAMID commander explained that a peacekeeper killed three of his colleagues and then shot himself.

'Not competent'

Hassan stressed that the information indicates the peacekeepers were playing a game of chess when the incident occurred and asserted that it was 'internal violence' among UNAMID itself. Furthermore, the commissioner said that "these troops came to protect the civilians and instead fight each other; this clearly demonstrates that they are not competent".

The incident raised many responses from residents and displaced persons from the locality's camps. A resident from Mukjar expressed his regret and said: "if the people who are supposed to protect us are playing chess and killing each other, then who is left to protect us?"

The UN Security Council has demanded to send other troops to protect UNAMID, citizens and displaced across Darfur who need protection now more than ever.

Radio Dabanga was not able to reach UNAMID, despite repeated attempts.

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