A night time ambush by unknown gunmen has killed three United Nations peackeepers and wounded six more in a camp for war-displaced people.
“Three peacekeepers – two soldiers and one police advisor – were killed and six peacekeepers injured, three of them seriously. One assailant was also killed,” said a statement from the joint African Union/United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) in the town of El Fasher in Sudan’s restive western region.
Police advisers are unarmed and escorted by armed ‘blue helmet’ peacekeepers. UNAMID said the “regular nightly patrol” was passing through the Zam Zam camp, home to around 200,000 displaced people, six miles outside El Fasher when it came under fire.
"Their mission was to protect civilians. For that they paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said Ibrahim Gambari, the head of UNAMID.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “strongly condemned” the attack on Monday night.
Fighting has been ongoing in Darfur since 2003 leading to the deaths of 300,000 people, according to UN estimates, and the issuing of an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir who is accused by the International Criminal Court of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
According to UNAMID, a total of 33 peacekeepers have been killed since the mission first deployed in 2007.