WASHINGTON: The United States yesterday called on Sudan to investigate the killings of three UN peacekeepers in an ambush in the troubled western Darfur region.
Three Senegalese troops died, and a fourth was wounded, when a water convoy they were escorting was attacked on Sunday on a road from the town of El Geneina to the UN mission in Darfur (UNAMID) headquarters in West Darfur.
“This attack comes just two days after a Zambian peacekeeper was brutally killed in a neighboring region of Darfur and brings to 13 the number of UNAMID peacekeepers killed this year,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
“The United States strongly condemns unlawful acts against UNAMID personnel and calls on the Sudanese government to immediately investigate these malicious attacks and hold the perpetrators to account,” she added in a statement.
She renewed US concerns about deteriorating human rights and security in Darfur, which she said had displaced some 300,000 people this year — more than the total who have fled the region over the past two years.
“We call on the Sudanese government and all rebel groups to engage without preconditions in an effective and inclusive political process to achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” Psaki added. The Darfur war started when local groups launched an uprising in 1993 against the Arab dominated Khartoum government.
Government forces were accused of launching a brutal repression that led to war crimes and genocide charges against President Omar Hasan Al Bashir and other Sudanese officials.