The United Nations says the ambush that killed seven peacekeepers and
wounded 22 others Tuesday in Darfur is the worst violence the force of
U.N. and African Union troops has faced since it took on the job in
January. From U.N. headquarters in New York, VOA's Margaret Besheer
The United Nations says the unknown attackers used
heavy weapons and engaged the U.N. convoy of soldiers and police in an
exchange of fire that lasted more than two hours.
Security Council issued a strongly worded statement condemning the
attack on the force known as UNAMID. Ambassador Le Luong Minh of
Vietnam, who holds the council presidency this month, read the
"The attack was the most severe on UNAMID since its
deployment," said Le Luong Minh. "The members of the council stress
that any attack or threat against UNAMID is unacceptable and demand
that there be no further attacks."
U.N. Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon, who is on his way back from the G-8 Summit in Japan, expressed
his condemnation through spokeswoman, Michele Montas.
Secretary-General condemns in the strongest possible terms this
unacceptable act of extreme violence against the U.N.-AU peacekeepers
in Darfur and calls on the government of Sudan to ensure that the
perpetrators are swiftly identified and brought to justice," said
A U.N. spokeswoman in Sudan said the ambush
happened as the peacekeepers were returning to their camp after
investigating the recent killings of two rebels affiliated with the
Sudan Liberation Army (SLA). The dead peacekeepers are from Rwanda,
Ghana and Uganda.
The 9.000 peacekeepers took over in January
from a smaller African Union force. UNAMID is mandated to have 26,000
blue helmets, but a lack of equipment and resistance from the Sudanese
government have hampered the deployment.
Darfur has seen five
years of conflict between rebels, the Sudanese government and
government-backed militias. The United Nations says the conflict has
displaced about 2.5 million people and killed as many as 300,000