published Friday, December 21st, 2012

UN: 4 peacekeepers killed in Darfur shooting

UNITED NATIONS — Four peacekeepers were killed and one injured in Darfur when one of the peacekeepers serving with the joint U.N.-African Union force opened fire at his fellow peacekeepers, the United Nations said Friday.

Kieran Dwyer, spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping force, said the peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID, is investigating the shooting.

He said there were no further details of the so-called “blue-on-blue” incident which took place Thursday at a peacekeeping site in Mukjar in West Darfur. It was unclear whether the peacekeeper who opened fire was alive, dead or injured.

More than 300,000 people have been killed in the Darfur conflict since rebels took up arms against the Sudanese government nearly 10 years ago, accusing it of discrimination and neglect. Violence has tapered off, but clashes continue.

UNAMID was established in July 2007 and given a key mandate of protecting civilians in Darfur, but it also contributes to security for those providing humanitarian aid, verifying agreements, political reconciliation efforts and promoting human rights. It currently has about 16,500 troops and military observers and over 5,000 international police.

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