Government of Sudan Recovers UNAMID-Owned Vehicles Hijacked from a Local Contractor
El Fasher, 4 June 2015 - On 2 June 2015 a group of unidentified armed men attacked an unescorted goods convoy of a local contractor transporting UNAMID Contingent-Owned Equipment (COE) in Doma area, South Darfur, while en-route from Nyala to Port Sudan.
As a result, vehicles belonging to a UNAMID Contingent were taken by the criminals. The vehicles were later recovered, thanks to the efforts of the South Darfur security authorities who pursued the carjackers and recovered the vehicles.
UNAMID would like to clarify that the local contractor acted against repeated instructions from the Mission not to move the COE without UNAMID armed escort. Furthermore, the contractor had misinformed the Mission that its convoy will be escorted by an appropriate force from Sudanese Customs Police.
Despite the contractor’s assurances of sufficient locally-sourced protection, UNAMID had repeatedly and unequivocally issued instructions to the contractor not to move the cargo without UNAMID peacekeeping force armed escort. Regrettably, the contractor contravened the instructions and mobilised the COE convoy from his warehouse in Nyala without prior notice to the Mission; and indeed without any form of escort as previously indicated by him.
While UNAMID is grateful to the Government of Sudan (GoS) forces who pursued and apprehended the perpetrators as well as recovered the hijacked vehicles; it regrets the unilateral actions by the contractor which constitute a breach of his contractual agreement with the Mission and thus created the opportunity for misreporting and misrepresentation of the facts of the incident, as well as creating a situation that led to the unnecessary exposure of many parties to avoidable danger.
The Mission has consistently acted within its mandate and within the perimeters of its Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) signed with the GoS. The Mission shall continue to discharge its mandated activities despite the daunting challenges.