AU PEACEKEEPER KILLED IN DARFUR


A peacekeeper with the joint UN-African Union force in Darfur (Unamid) has been killed in an ambush.

“This was not a carjacking gone wrong. This was a cold-blooded ambush. They were waiting for us,” Unamid spokesman Kemal Saiki told Reuters news agency.

He said the peacekeepers were returning from patrol when eight armed men opened fire in South Darfur capital Nyala.

One injured soldier was pronounced dead after being airlifted to the Unamid base in North Darfur capital Fasher.

It was the second such attack since the International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on 4 March for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

Four peacekeepers were wounded in a shooting near Geneina in western Darfur last week.

The death brings to 14 the number of peacekeepers killed in Darfur since the hybrid mission took over from an African Union force in January 2008.

Tensions have risen in Darfur, an area about the size of France, since the ICC indictment against Sudan’s leader.

On Monday, Sudan said foreign aid groups, who carry out the bulk of humanitarian work in Darfur, would no longer be allowed to work on the ground in a year’s time.

Khartoum said Sudanese aid agencies would take over.

Three foreign aid workers and a Sudanese colleague were released on Saturday, three days after being kidnapped at gunpoint from their compound in Darfur by a gang calling themselves “Bashir’s Eagles”.

Shortly after the ICC indictment was issued, President Bashir ordered 13 foreign aid agencies out of the region.

The UN has said those expulsions have put more than one million lives at risk. SOU

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