Unknown assailants killed one peacekeeper and wounded another in Sudan's embattled Darfur region, according to sources from the joint United Nations/African Union force operating in the country.
The killing brings to 11 the number of peacekeepers who have lost their lives since the beginning of this year when the joint mission took over from the African Union force.
Violence against the under-staffed force has surged in the last three months, during which 10 peacekeepers were killed, underlying the difficulty of securing the region.
Noureddine Mezni, UNAMID spokesman, told Reuters the two soldiers were attacked on Wednesday while securing a water point in the town of
"They were injured and evacuated to UNAMID camp in Kutum. One of them died and the other, a female soldier, is alive," Mezni said. The families of the two have been informed of the incident, he said.
With little more than 11,000 military and police personnel, the joint force is far short of its promised strength of 26,000 peacekeepers.
Western diplomats, U.N. officials and human rights groups blame the slow deployment on obstructions by
A Sudanese government official said Western powers, particularly the United States, acknowledge this fact but would not say so in public.
"In private they say 'we know this issue (UNAMID) is not just your responsibility'," the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. "But they won't say this in public."
Western members of the U.N. Security Council have made progress on deploying the force one of their key demands to suspend a possible arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
The ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo accused Bashir in July of masterminding a campaign of genocide in
International experts estimate that 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million have fled their homes since the
Mezni said the female soldier was shot in the chest but was in a stable condition. She was being treated at the UNAMID clinic in El-Fasher, the capital of
In October, one Nigerian sergeant was shot dead after up to 60 armed bandits ambushed his convoy. In early July, seven members of the force were killed and another 22 were wounded in an ambush by militia fighters in
A week later, another Nigerian officer was killed in a car-jacking incident in west
Date created : 2008-10-30