Press Release from African Union Mission in the Sudan AMIS
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Dec 14, 2006 - 10:08:00 AM
AFRICAN MISSION IN SUDAN
P. O. Box 8372, Khartoum, SUDAN Tel: +249 83 582207/9
Fax: 00249 83 582206
Email: [email protected]
The African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) has learnt with great concern and disquiet of the latest attacks in Sirba, El Geneina west Darfur on 9 and 10 December, 2006 as well as El Fasher on 9 of December, 2006. The incidents occurring almost at the same time signify the volatile nature of the security situation in certain parts of Darfur and constitute a source for worry in the light of the numbers of civilians assaulted and killed as well as the attacks that have been perpetrated against AMIS.
On 9th December 2006 unidentified armed men attacked a commercial vehicle near Sirba, West Darfur, killing 22 people and injuring 10 others. An AMIS team of 2 Military Observers and 6 Protection Force Personnel was dispatched from El Geneina to Sirba by air to investigate the incident. On arrival, members of the team were escorted to the scene by some of the locals. However, on completion of its work the team was prevented by the same locals from taking off to El Geneina. The members eventually passed the night at Sirba police station before being released the following day through the combined efforts of AMIS, GoS and NRF leadership and the helicopter was allowed to take off. It finally arrived AMIS location in El Geneina with the team intact.
On 10th December, the AMIS team that had been dispatched to attend the burial of the 22 civilians killed the previous day was stopped by an unruly mob that in the process broke an AMIS vehicle window and attacked an AMIS Civilian Police station in an IDP camp and set it on fire while the AMIS personnel on the spot managed to escape unhurt. The mob then marched to El Geneina AMIS camp and fired both heavy and small arms and despite spirited efforts by the AMIS protection force, broke into the camp and attempted to snatch weapons from AMIS troops.
In the ensuing fracas, two of the attackers were killed but the situation was brought under control with the wounded attended to by AMIS doctors , while the corpses where handed over to GoS police in the presence of the Commissioner of El Geneina Mr. Bashir Jaria and some elders from Sirba. The GoS investigation team visited the AMIS camp to assess the extent of the damage, but no AMIS personnel were found injured. .
AMIS condemns in the strongest possible terms these unprovoked incidents carried out by perpetrators whose agenda is unknown but the very nature of the attacks leaves no doubt that they were the work of a minority of misguided elements, since the majority of the Darfurians at this point in time are seeking peace and stability.
It also condemns the killing of innocent people in Sirba and El Fasher and calls upon all the parties to stop any kind of hostilities in order to create a conducive environment which would allow the AU and its partners to intensify their efforts aimed at achieving a comprehensive and lasting peace in bringing on board those who are outside the DPA.
It further condemns the latest high-jacking in El Fasher on 10th December, 2006 of an AMIS vehicle with two occupants and appeals to the Sudanese authorities to step up their efforts to apprehend criminal elements and bring them speedily to justice to allow the Darfurians to experience the peaceful life they have missed over the past three years.
Khartoum, 12 December, 2006
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