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Sudan arrests men over Darfur peacekeeper killing

By on December 6, 2009

Sudan on Sunday said it had arrested a number of men suspected of killing three Rwandan peacekeepers in an ambush in Darfur, the first of two deadly attacks on the mission.

The three members of Darfur’s joint U.N./African Union UNAMID mission were killed when gunmen opened fire on their convoy in the north Darfur settlement of Saraf Omra on Friday.

A day later, two Rwandan peacekeepers were killed by men dressed in traditional robes who shot them as they distributed water in a refugee camp in the north Darfur town of Shangil Tobay.

The governor of north Darfur Osman Kebir told Sudan’s state Suna news agency a number of men had been arrested and would be charged with the first attack.

Kebir condemned the shooting, saying bandits had started to target UNAMID convoys to try and steal their vehicles.

He said the men had been taken to north Darfur’s capital El Fasher where they would “be presented before a court to receive punishment for their heinous act”.

UNAMID told Reuters it was investigating both attacks and said it was too early to say whether they were linked.

Bandit attacks, armed robberies and kidnappings have surged in Darfur more than six years after mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms against Sudan’s government, accusing it of neglecting the western territory.

Sudan’s government mobilised mostly Arab militias to crush the uprising, unleashing a wave of violence that Washington and some activists call genocide, a term rejected by Khartoum.

Estimates of the death toll range from 300,000 according to the United Nations, to 10,000 according to Khartoum.

Reuters.

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