El Fasher, 3 November 2012 – The African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) received reports of an alleged attack on civilians that resulted in fatalities, an abduction of a civilian and widespread population displacement. The attack reportedly took place on 2 November in Sigili village, located in the Shawa area about 40 kilometres southeast of El Fasher, North Darfur.
On 3 November, the Mission sent an integrated verification team to the area to gather information on the incident. The convoy was prevented by the Government of Sudan's military at Zam Zam checkpoint from reaching the destination.
“I am dismayed by these deaths, and very concerned over the repeated incidents that have led to the killing, injury of the local population, as well as their displacement,” said the Acting Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator a.i., Aichatou Mindaoudou. “I reiterate my strong condemnation of all forms of violence in Darfur, especially the attacks against civilians, which constitute serious crimes,” she added.
Several hundred mourners marched today in a funeral procession through El Fasher, in sympathy with the victims of this incident. The mourners brought 10 bodies, those who had reportedly died in the attack, to the gate of UNAMID Headquarters in El Fasher.
Representatives of the mourners met with the Mission’s leadership and called, in particular, for an investigation. Following the meeting, UNAMID police escorted the mourners, at their request, to bury the victims.
“I urge all the parties to avoid violence and choose the path of peace and negotiated settlement,” said Ms Mindaoudou.
Violence in Darfur is mainly due to inter-communal fighting, attacks perpetrated by armed groups against civilians, and sporadic clashes between the Government and armed movements.
Established in July 2007, UNAMID has the protection of civilians as its core mandate. In addition, the Mission is tasked with facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid and assisting with an inclusive peace process in Darfur, among other responsibilities.
Aicha Elbasri, Spokesperson, firstname.lastname@example.org, +249 91 250