UN's Ban 'appalled' by peacekeeper shooting in Darfur

UN leader Ban Ki-moon is "appalled and saddened" by the fatal shooting of a Nigerian peacekeeper at an African Union-UN base in Sudan's Darfur region, he said Friday.

Ban "condemns in the strongest terms those responsible for the attack, and calls on the authorities to immediately hold the perpetrators criminally accountable," according to a statement from his office issued after the assault on the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur.

"The secretary-general is appalled and saddened by the fatal shooting of a Nigerian UNAMID peacekeeper by unidentified armed assailants."

The attack, which came two days after the government announced it had regained control of the area from rebels, also left two peacekeepers wounded, UN officials said.

The UN statement said Ban was "deeply concerned" about restrictions imposed on UNAMID and humanitarian organizations by Sudan that are blocking the delivery of aid to civilians affected by recent clashes between the government and the Sudan Liberation Army's Minni Minnawi faction.

Ban "calls on the authorities to immediately allow UNAMID and humanitarian actors to have full and unhindered access to civilians in need of assistance, the statement said.

More than 40 peacekeepers have been killed in hostile action during UNAMID's five-year history, and the UN has repeatedly called for perpetrators to be brought to justice.