18 July 2013

Sudan to Pursue Darfur Killers

SUDANESE President Omar Al Bashir has assured President Jakaya Kikwete that he will ensure all those who were involved in attacking and killing seven Tanzania soldiers in peacekeeping mission in Darfur are apprehended and brought to justice.

President Bashir made the pledge yesterday during talks by phone with President Kikwete, saying that he believed that those involved in the killings were criminals and must be pursued. During talks Mr Kikwete had asked Mr Bashir to pursue people involved in the ambush and killing of Tanzania peacekeepers in Darfur, Sudan last Saturday.

President Kikwete also said the assailants should be apprehended and brought to justice as soon as possible. In a statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communication, Mr Kikwete expressed his desire for the criminals to be taken to task.

President Bashir also sent his condolences to President Kikwete for the death of the soldiers and a police officer who are in the joint African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

The UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Kimoon, had also called on President Kikwete and condemned the heinous attack on UNAMID, the third in three weeks and expressed optimism that the Sudanese government will take swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The site of the attack is close to Nyala, Darfur's biggest city, where competing security forces fought for days last week, looting the main market and offices of aid agencies. So far there has been no group which came out to declare responsibility in the attack.

The bodies of the fallen Tanzanian heroes are expected to arrive in Dar es Salaam today and will be preserved at Lugalo Barracks Hospital mortuary. On Friday, the bodies will be taken to the Diamond Jubilee grounds for last respects. Violence in Darfur has surged since January, this year, as government forces, rebels and Arab tribes, armed by Khartoum early in the conflict, fight over resources and land.

Peacekeepers often are attacked when they try to find out what is happening on the ground. Meanwhile, President Kikwete and First Lady, Mama Salma on Tuesday organised Iftar for 185 children from more than ten orphanage centres in the city.

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