- A group of Darfuris women was saved from the hands of bandits who are believed to have been on a mission to take them hostages or possible war slaves.
The Un reports said troops from the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, tasked with protecting civilians and suppressing the bloody conflict in the region, foiled an attempted abduction of several women who had strayed outside a makeshift camp in the war-torn western flank of Sudan.
The report said a patrol from the hybrid force, known as UNAMID, was dispatched yesterday to the Hassa Hissa camp in West Darfur after being alerted that six women had been snatched while collecting firewood in nearby fields.
The kidnappers are said to have released the women when they saw the UNAMID team, made up of protection force personnel, police and military observers, approaching the scene.
The incident follows a series of violent incidents surrounding the Hassa Hissa camp last month, with the latest involving unidentified gunmen having shot dead the traditional leader or “sheikh” in the camp.
Reports say that on 1 December, two Janjaweed militiamen, usually allied with Government forces, armed with a rifle quarrelled with settlers at the camp, when one of the militiamen was severely beaten and later died and a camp settler suffered a minor injury. The other militiaman was arrested and taken into custody by Sudanese police, the report pointed out.
It continued that the following day a dozen armed men set ablaze a water pump and five generators supplying energy to Hassa Hissa, lightly injuring one of the settlers.
An estimated 300,000 people have been killed since fighting erupted in Darfur in 2003 pitting government troops and the Janjaweed against rebel forces, and 2.7 million others have been forced from their homes, according to the UN report.
The Security Council has authorised 26,000 uniformed personnel, including military and police, for UNAMID. So far some 12,369 military personnel have been deployed out of the authorised 19,555, with senior UN officials repeatedly calling on countries to supply the remaining troops and equipment needed.
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