Gunmen kill three Ethiopian peacekeepers in Sudan's Darfur

(Reuters) – Gunmen killed three Ethiopian peacekeepers who were guarding a water hole in Sudan’s strife-torn Darfur region on Thursday, their force said.
Two of the soldiers died at the scene in Korma, north Darfur, and a third died later from his wounds in Khartoum, said the joint U.N./African Union UNAMID peacekeeping mission. The attackers stole the Ethiopians’ patrol vehicle, it added.
“This has been a bloody October for UN Peacekeeping,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon told reporters in New York.
“In Darfur, Mali and the Central African Republic, we have lost 14 peacekeepers in hostile acts – nearly one per day.”
A total of 61 UNAMID peacekeepers have been killed in action since their force was set up in 2007 to stem violence in Sudan’s western region.
Darfur was plunged into turmoil in 2003 when mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms against the government, accusing it of neglecting the arid region, and Khartoum mobilised mostly Arab militias to crush the uprising.
The situation has since subsided into chaos with skirmishes involving bandits, rival insurgent splinter groups, warring tribes and lawless militias.
UNAMID’s joint U.N./African Union Special Representative Abidoun Bashua called on Khartoum to bring Thursday’s attackers to justice.
“An attack on peacekeepers constitutes a war crime and is punishable under international criminal law,” Bashua said.
(Reporting By Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Shadi Bushra; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Ken Wills)

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