Military officer with UN-African Union force in Darfur dies after car-jacking

29 December 2008

A military officer serving with the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) died today, after being shot in the leg two days ago during a car-jacking in the strife-torn Sudanese region.

The incident happened Saturday night at a market in the capital of North Darfur, El Fasher – which is also the headquarters of the UN-AU force, deployed earlier this year to try to end the violence and suffering in Darfur.

The man was one of three UNAMID military officers who were car-jacked by three unknown armed men. The officers were forced to leave their vehicle and, in the process, one was shot. The car-jackers then drove off to the north with the vehicle.

The incident is the latest in a series of attacks against aid workers and the joint peacekeeping force, which lost more than 20 personnel in its first year of operation.

Violence has also continued against displaced persons sheltering in makeshift camps, with inter-tribal clashes and fighting between the Government and armed militia adding to the turmoil.

An estimated 300,000 people have been killed since fighting erupted in 2003 between Government forces, allied militiamen – known as the Janjaweed – and rebels, and 2.7 million others have been forced from their homes and now live as refugees or as internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The Security Council has authorized 26,000 uniformed personnel, including military and police, for UNAMID. So far some 12,369 military personnel have been deployed out of the authorized 19,555. Senior UN officials have repeatedly called on countries to supply the remaining troops and equipment needed.

 

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