Sudan: Peacekeepers Killed


April 5, 2007: The UN Mission In Sudan (UNMIS) will contribute "more support" to the African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in Darfur. This consists of additional observers, logistics specialists, and police to the AU force.

April 2 2007: Five African Union (AU) peacekeepers were killed in the Darfur region, by "unidentified assailants." The AU called the attack "a crime" which it attributed to "armed groups." Armed groups in Darfur can mean anything, ie, rebel groups, government sponsored militias, even bandit gangs. In this case, it appears that the attackers were members of a rebel group, that had turned to banditry. This is common. Attacks on AU peacekeepers have increased in recent weeks, including gunfire aimed at a helicopter, carrying several senior AU officers, on April 1. No one was injured in that incident.

The Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and the government have reached a new understanding. Last month eight SLM members and two government policemen died in a shoot out in Omdurman. Approximately three-dozen SLM members were arrested in the incident, which involved a police raid on an SLM headquarters. The SLM said that the incident was so serious it was considering withdrawing from the May 5 peace agreement. Now the SLM is saying it believes that the incident was sparked by Sudanese policemen who want the peace deal to collapse. There is no indication that this is true but it is an interesting claim. Sudan has supposedly agreed to release the SLM members it arrested. It has returned control of the headquarters building to the SLM.

Sudan and China have agreed to new "bilateral military exchanges." The agreement was reached by the Sudan government and the Chinese Defense Ministry. Military exchanges usually means training assistance.

March 31, 2007: At least 23 people were wounded in tribal fighting in Dafur, near the town of Diyala.


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