El Fasher — An African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur peacekeeper was killed and three others were injured on the morning of 24 May in Kabkabiya, North Darfur, while attending a mediation meeting between two disputing tribes.
Following altercations between Fur people from Al Salam village and Arab militia from Al Hara village, a UNAMID team attended mediation meeting in an attempt to ease the tension. The Arab militia elements, nevertheless, became hostile towards UNAMID peacekeepers and started shooting at them, at which point the peacekeepers returned fire.
As a result of the ensuing fighting, four Rwandan peacekeepers were injured and, unfortunately, one of them died from his wounds. The other three, one of them in critical condition, are receiving treatment at the UNAMID hospital in Kabkabiya. The fighting left an unconfirmed number of casualties among the assailants.
UNAMID Joint Special Representative (JSR) Mohamed Ibn Chambas is deeply saddened by the outcome of the attack and the death and injuries caused. "I condemn this heinous criminal act in the strongest possible terms," he said.
"Our peacekeepers were trying to mediate the dispute in good faith and regrettably their efforts went unappreciated. They paid the ultimate price with courage and dedication while discharging their noble duty; trying to bring peace to Darfur," Mr. Chambas reflected.
The JSR strongly called on the Government of Sudan to act decisively and swiftly in bringing the perpetrators to justice. "This crime is utterly unjustifiable and amounts to a crime against humanity for which those responsible must be brought to account," he stressed.
Mr. Chambas extended his and the Mission's deepest condolences to the family and friends of the late peacekeeper, and to the Government and people of Rwanda.
This sad incident brings the number of peacekeepers losing their lives in hostile action in Darfur to 58 since the inception of the Mission in December 2007.