AU-UN peacekeepers airlift exam papers to school students in Darfur

26 March 2009

The joint United Nations-African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID, today helped airlift examination materials to remote secondary schools in the war-torn western region of Sudan.

The blue helmets flew three helicopters across North Darfur to distribute exam papers to nine locations across the state, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York.

This is the second such operation UNAMID has conducted for the 2009 certificate examinations, which are held throughout Sudan and slated to start on 30 March, she said.

Elsewhere, the hybrid peacekeeping force has recently characterized the current security situation in Darfur as relatively calm apart from a few incidents of banditry. In the past few weeks, UNAMID has reported a rise in attacks on peacekeeping staff, carjacking, other banditry, and harassment of civilians in Darfur.

There has also been concern over the safety of humanitarian workers, many of whom have been ordered to leave the region following the indictment last month of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur.

An estimated 300,000 people have died and another 3 million have been displaced in Darfur, where rebels have been fighting Government forces and allied Arab militiamen, known as the Janjaweed, since 2003.


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Darfur rife with violence against peacekeepers, civilians, UN says

Attacks on peacekeeping staff, carjacking, other banditry, and harassment of civilians continue to proliferate in Darfur, the African Union-United Nations mission in the strife-torn region of Sudan (UNAMID) reported today.