UNAMID condemns attacks in Sortony, calls for maximum restraint

By African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)

The AU-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) condemns yesterday's attack on a part of the Internally Displaced Persons' (IDPs) Gathering Site in Sortony, North Darfur, where unidentified armed men on gun-mounted vehicles opened fire, killing two children and wounding several others, including a UNAMID peacekeeper. On account of their robust response, the Mission's peacekeepers apprehended two of the alleged perpetrators of the attack and are in the process of handing them over to Government of Sudan authorities in Kabkabiya.

Earlier, on the same day, a shootout had occurred in the market area, some 300 meters from the Gathering Site, where three persons were killed and four injured. The wounded are receiving treatment at the UNAMID clinic in Sortony. The Mission is currently verifying the exact number of those affected by these two incidents. Tensions in Sortony have been escalating since 2 May when nomadic herders accused members of the displaced community of stealing their livestock and demanded the return of their cattle. Subsequently, they established an intermittent blockade on the Kabkabiya-Sortony road, an essential route for the provision of water and humanitarian aid. Furthermore, on 7 May, a group of unidentified men aboard a gun-mounted vehicle moving toward the area inhabited by IDPs near the Mission's team site withdrew upon being stopped and questioned by UNAMID troops on patrol. UNAMID calls on all parties to the conflict in Sortony to exercise maximum restraint, refrain from further acts of violence and resolve their issues through dialogue and mediation. The Mission continues to reinforce its daily patrols to strengthen its protection of civilians mandate to its fullest capacity and stands ready to assist the state authorities in all efforts to restore normalcy.