Press Release

18 October 2012

Statement on the attack on a UNAMID Convoy in Darfur, Sudan which resulted in the death of a South African Peacekeeper

The Government of South Africa condemns, in the strongest terms, the ambush and attack on a UNAMID (United Nations-African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur) convoy in North Darfur, which resulted in the death of one South African peacekeeper and severely wounded 3 others.

The South African Government is deeply disturbed by the incident and extends its deepest condolences to the bereaved family.

The South African Government joins the call by the United Nations Secretary-General for an immediate investigation into the attack and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice and counts on the Sudanese Government to fully cooperate with the UN in this investigation.

The alarming rise in violence in recent weeks in Darfur is of great concern, as this incident follows just days after four Nigerian peacekeepers were killed in a similar attack.

It is deeply disheartening that the South African peacekeepers came under fire while on their way to investigate the heightened spate of attacks in the Hashaba North district of Darfur. According to the UNAMID Force Commander, a UNAMID integrated assessment mission (16 vehicles) led by the Deputy Force Commander were en route to Hashaba North when the convoy was ambushed by unidentified assailants 10 km from their destination.

It is further disconcerting that the peace deal reached between the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) and the Sudanese Government last year has yet to take effect and that most opposition and rebel movements remain outside of the peace processes, perpetuating instability in Darfur. South Africa has taken note that renewed talks have begun this week in Doha, Qatar and calls on all parties to engage constructively in the process to bring Darfur and Sudan as a whole to peace.

The South African Government is working closely through the Embassy in Khartoum, with the United Nations, the UNAMID Force Commander, and the Sudanese Government to ensure that the remains of the South African soldier are repatriated soon and that the wounded South African troops receive immediate medical treatment.

For further information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on +27 82 884 5974

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

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