10 August 2008 -- UNAMID on Sudanese Authorities offer of assistance
UNAMID, the African Union - United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, has noted the publication, in the Rwandan newspaper The New Times dated 7 August 2008, of an article related to the ambush of a UNAMID patrol on 8 July 2008, near Um Hakibah, approximately 130 kilometers south-west of Al Fasher, which resulted in the death of 7 Peacekeepers, 5 of them from the UNAMID Rwandan contingent.
This article made reference to a note by a Sudanese official according to which “The Government of Sudan informed UNAMID of those who were responsible for the attacks and asked it (UNAMID) whether it would accept it (Sudan) to participate in hunting for the perpetrators and get back the equipment and arms taken.”
The article also mentioned that, when asked why “the Sudanese government does not go ahead and investigate the suspects since they have a lead”, the Special Envoy allegedly declared that “the government of Sudan is absolutely handicapped; the mandate of UNAMID does not give a green light to Sudan to carry out any activity in an area that is controlled by UNAMID. The UN has put tight restrictions on us.”
UNAMID has brought this tragic incident to the attention of the Government, which has expressed its condolences and offered to assist. UNAMID is now conducting its investigations, both military and civilian, into the attack of Um Hakibah, in the course of which the Government authorities, as well as movements operating in the area and other persons who offer, or may be able, to assist, will be approached with a view to identifying the perpetrators. United Nations investigations are conducted within the framework of its Security Council mandate, the rules and procedures of the Organization, and the status of forces agreement which provides for the Government of Sudan to establish its jurisdiction over crimes committed on its territory.
United Nations procedures preclude any public statement or communication in relation to an on-going investigation, until such time its findings are officially reported to the appropriate authorities, in this case the African Union and the United Nations.