Two Rwandan peacekeepers serving under the auspices of the United Nations-African Union in Darfur (UNAMID) were, on Monday, killed in an ambush in Sudanese region of Darfur.
Four other Rwandans as well as Senegalese and Gambian Police constables sustained injuries and were flown to the capital, Khartoum, for treatment.
“A Rwandan patrol team from the 27 Battalion, with Civil Police, on routine night patrol in Zam Zam refugee camp, fell in a deliberate ambush by unknown elements. After exchange of fire, two soldiers died, with four injured,” reads the statement from the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF).
A police Constable from Senegal also passed away later in hospital as a result of injuries sustained in the attack..
The attackers lost one person and several items captured on him, the Rwandan military said.
The statement adds in part that: “UN investigation team has started investigations to ascertain the attackers and the motive of attack.”
According to a statement from UNAMID, the Joint Special Representative and head of Unamid, Ibrahim Gambari, strongly condemned the attack.
“I condemn in the strongest terms this attack on our peacekeepers who have worked selflessly to bring security to the internally displaced persons of Zam Zam camp where so many Darfuris have sought refuge,” Gambari said.
He added that; “The UNAMID patrol was a regular nightly patrol of unarmed police advisors and armed military escorts. Their mission was to protect civilians. For that they paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Gambari called upon the Sudanese authorities to mount a “full investigation immediately and to find and bring to justice the perpetrators as soon as possible”.
“An attack on international peacekeepers is a war crime and we will ensure that justice will be served. This deplorable incident will not deter UNAMID's strong commitment to its mission to protect the people of Darfur,” he said.
Currently, Rwanda maintains a force of 3,200 peacekeepers in Darfur.