United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern at an increase in attacks on peacekeepers serving in Sudan’s Darfur region and the “limited cooperation” given by the North African nation’s government.
Ban condemned two assaults by unidentified gunmen in Kass, South Darfur on April 23-24, his spokesman said Monday in a website statement. Six peacekeepers from the joint UN-African Union mission were wounded repelling attacks while four assailants were killed, he said. Sudan’s foreign ministry on April 26 accused the mission of killing seven civilians after its peacekeepers were attacked by the armed men.
The Sudanese government should bring the unidentified assailants to justice and take steps to prevent further threats to peacekeepers, Ban said. The UN and Sudan’s government both said they’re investigating the incidents.
Insurgents in Darfur took up arms in 2003, accusing President Umar al-Bashir’s government of neglecting the western Sudanese region. The International Criminal Court has indicted al-Bashir for alleged war crimes in the area. The conflict has led to the deaths of as many as 300,000 people, mainly due to illness and starvation, with about 2.4 million people currently displaced, according to UN estimates.