Darfur rife with violence against peacekeepers, civilians, UN says

Attacks on peacekeeping staff, carjacking, other banditry, and harassment of civilians continue to proliferate in Darfur.
The African Union-United Nations mission in the strife-torn region of Sudan (UNAMID) reports one of its vehicles was carjacked in Nyala, South Darfur, yesterday morning by armed men in military uniforms, and on Monday, two of the mission`s national staff members were stopped while they were driving a UN vehicle, beaten and left by five armed men dressed in civilian clothes in El Geneina, West Darfur, the UN News Centre reports.  
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday condemned an ambush that led to the death of a blue helmet, the second attack on a peacekeeping patrol in the region in a little over a week, and said he was “deeply concerned by the increased security threats faced by UNAMID in Darfur.
At the same time, concern continues to mount over the safety of humanitarian workers, many of whom have been ordered to leave the region following the recent indictment of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur.
The joint UN/Government of Sudan assessments of humanitarian gaps in Darfur being conducted in the wake of those expulsions continue, having been extended by one day to be completed tomorrow, UNAMID added.
The three assessment teams will have wrap-up meetings at the level of state Government tomorrow and then travel to Sudan`s capital, Khartoum, where they will sort through the data for the following few days, the mission said.
Meanwhile, the number of internally displaced persons (IDP) fleeing violence and harassment continues to grow, with new arrivals in the Zam Zam camp in North Darfur pushing the total in the camp to 80 000.
The majority of the newcomers are from villages and IDP camps in South Darfur, but there are also arrivals from North Darfur.
An estimated 300 000 people have died and another 3 million have been displaced in Darfur, where rebels have been fighting Government forces and allied Arab militiamen, known as the Janjaweed, since 2003.