- The joint AU-UN Special Representative in Darfur, has condemned the latest killing of a peacekeeper in the strongest terms, emphasising that such attacks on peacekeepers constitute war crimes.
Unidentified gunmen shot dead an international peacekeeper outside his home in South Darfur last night, the joint African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) announced today.
The blue helmet was killed in a carjacking incident as he was opening the gate to his residence in Nyala, the state capital, according to UNAMID, adding that the peacekeeper was rushed to a nearby UNAMID medical centre for treatment but died upon arrival.
“This attack is deplorable. UNAMID peacekeepers are here to assist the people of Darfur, and any attack on them is totally unacceptable,” said special representative, Rodolphe Adada, further expressing condolences to the family of the peacekeeper who lost his life.
UNAMID said the military observer's name, rank and nationality will not be released until his family are notified, but said he becomes the 15th UNAMID peacekeeper killed in a hostile confrontation since the mission deployed at the start of 2008.
Mr Adada called on the Sudanese government and the parties to the Darfur conflict to do everything possible to bring the perpetrators of last night's shooting to justice.
Meanwhile, UNAMID, which has started its own investigation into the attack, informed local officials with Sudanese government police and national security, who are also investigating the killing.
The mission has said that while the overall number of carjackings and thefts of UNAMID vehicles has declined since last year, such incidents continue across the region, particularly in South Darfur. A Nigerian peacekeeper was shot and killed during an ambush of a Mission escort patrol near Nyala on 17 March.
In a briefing to the Security Council last month, Mr Adada estimated that some 2,000 civilians have also been in killed in Darfur since UNAMID deployed last year, and that some of the previous 14 peacekeepers killed may have been rescued if helicopters had been available.
The hybrid UNAMID force was set up by the Security Council to protect civilians in Darfur, where an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million have been forced from their homes since fighting erupted in 2003, pitting rebels against government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen.
Meanwhile, a top UN relief official travelled to Southern Sudan today, where he met with some of the thousands of men, women and children who have been displaced by recent violence.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), up to 1,000 people have been killed and over 100,000 uprooted from their homes since January in seven states in Southern Sudan due to the activities of the Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and inter-ethnic clashes.
Continuing his five-day visit to Sudan, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator went to Akobo in Jonglei State, where thousands are taking shelter after fleeing recent violence.
Many of those he met told Mr Holmes of their plight, some of them recounting how they had lost relatives in the violence.
There are currently 24 humanitarian organisations responding to the increasing needs of the internally displaced persons in 7 of the 10 states of Southern Sudan, OCHA said.
Mr Holmes also met today with Riek Machar, Vice-President of the government of Southern Sudan, with whom he discussed humanitarian needs in the region, especially those in areas affected by ongoing conflict in Jonglei State.
He will travel further to Darfur to meet with local leaders and aid workers, as well as visit Zam Zam camp for the displaced in North Darfur.
The UN relief chief will review the humanitarian situation in the areas, some two months after the government expelled 13 international non-governmental organisations and revoked the permits of three local groups after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for President Omar Al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.