Ban Ki-moon says Sudan must act on Darfur killings

SudanPhoto only for representational purpose. (Reuters)

UN leader Ban Ki-moon has called on the Sudanese government to act against the growing number of killings of UN peacekeepers in the strife-torn Darfur region.

Ban spoke out on Sunday after the killing of two soldiers from Jordan and Senegal in the peacekeeping force in an ambush in South Darfur.

"The secretary general was appalled to learn of another armed attack by unidentified assailants on a convoy of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur," said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky in a statement.

One attacker was killed and another wounded along with the two peacekeepers, Nesirky added.

At least 14 peacekeepers have been killed in a surge of violence in Darfur in the past six months. Many of the attacks have been blamed on rogue tribes in the region which has been at conflict for more than a decade. The Sudanese government has yet to detain any of the attackers.

"The secretary general condemns in the strongest terms this cowardly attack on UNAMID peacekeepers and expects the government of Sudan to swiftly bring to justice those responsible for this and previous attacks on UNAMID," added the spokesman.

A Rwandan peacekeeper was killed one month ago in a similar ambush in North Darfur.

An uprising against the Khartoum government started in 2003, and the UN says at least 300,000 people have since died in the conflict.

The new surge in fighting this year has been blamed on rivalry between Arab tribes in the western region. Hundreds have died in clashes between different tribes and militias.

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