Two UN-AU peacekeepers found in Darfur after ambush


Darfuris helped two UN-African Union peacekeepers who had been missing following an ambush return safely to their base after almost two days lost in the Sudanese desert, the mission said.

A 60-man peacekeeping patrol was ambushed on Friday in the mountainous Jabel Marra area, which the Darfur rebel Sudan Liberation Army loyal to Abdel Wahed Mohamed el-Nur says it controls. The group denied any involvement in the attack.

The peacekeepers were held overnight by unidentified armed men. After their release on Saturday, two were unaccounted for.

The joint force, known as UNAMID, will be the world’s largest UN-funded peacekeeping mission at its full strength of 26 000, but has struggled to gain the trust of all sides of Darfur’s seven-year conflict.

The United Nations estimates Darfur’s revolt has claimed 300 000 lives and forced more than 2 million to flee their homes since it began in 2003 when insurgents took up arms accusing central government of neglecting the remote region.