(Newsroom America) -- An attack on United Nations peacekeepers in the west Sudanese region of Darfur on Tuesday has claimed the lives of four peacekeepers and wounded another eight.
The incident, involving a Nigerian military patrol serving with the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), occurred some two kilometres from the Mission’s regional headquarters in El Geneina, West Darfur.
UNAMID personnel, who were heavily fired on from several directions, returned fire, according to a news release issued by UNAMID. Four Nigerian peacekeepers were killed and eight were wounded.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Government of the Sudan to conduct a full investigation and to ensure that the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.
"The Secretary-General expresses his condolences to the Government of Nigeria and to the families of the fallen peacekeepers and UNAMID," Mr. Ban’s spokesperson told a news briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.
“The Mission condemns in the strongest terms this criminal attack on our peacekeepers, who are here in the service of Darfur’s people,” UNAMID’s Force Commander and current officer-in-charge, Lt. General Patrick Nyamvumba, said in a statement earlier on Wednesday. “I call on the Government of Sudan to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
UNAMID is tasked with protecting civilians, promoting an inclusive peace process and helping ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance across Darfur, which has been the scene of fighting between Sudanese Government troops and their allied militias and rebels since 2003.
Since the Mission’s initial deployment at the beginning of 2008, over 40 peacekeepers have been killed as a result of hostile actions.