|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5935th Meeting* (PM)
SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT CONDEMNS IN STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS
8 JULY ATTACK ON AFRICAN UNION-UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPERS IN DARFUR
Says ‘Unacceptable Act of Extreme Violence’, Which Killed Seven,
Was ‘Premeditated, Deliberate and Intended to Inflict Casualties’
The Security Council today condemned in the strongest possible terms the 8 July attack on African Union–United Nations peacekeepers in Darfur, expressing its concern that the largest ever attack on the force so far was “premeditated, deliberate and intended to inflict casualties”.
According to a statement read by this month’s President, Le Luong Minh (Viet Nam), the attack on the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) military and police convoy in Um Hakiba by 200 fighters on horses and in 40 vehicles, using sophisticated weaponry and tactics, had resulted in the death of 7 peacekeepers and the wounding of 22 others and was an “unacceptable act of extreme violence”.
In its presidential statement, the Council underlined its determination to take action against those responsible after hearing the outcome of UNAMID’s investigation, also underlining that attacks on United Nations peacekeepers during an armed conflict could constitute war crimes. It called on the Government of Sudan to do its utmost to ensure that the perpetrators of the attack would be swiftly identified and brought to justice. The Council stressed that any attack or threat against UNAMID was unacceptable, and demanded that there be no reoccurrence.
At the outset of the meeting, the Council, through its President, paid tribute to the outgoing Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie Guéhenno.
The meeting started at 1:18 p.m. and adjourned at 1:25 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2008/27 reads as follows:
“The Security Council condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack on 8 July 2008 on a UNAMID military and police convoy in Um Hakibah by 200 fighters on horses and in 40 vehicles, using sophisticated weaponry and tactics, which resulted in the death of 7 peacekeepers and a further 22 United Nations-African Union personnel being wounded. This unacceptable act of extreme violence is the largest attack on UNAMID since the transfer of authority from the African Union Mission in Sudan on 31 December 2007. The Council is particularly concerned that the attack was premeditated, deliberate and intended to inflict casualties.
“The Security Council welcomes the United Nations investigation under way and the Government of Sudan’s statement to assist the United Nations investigation. It calls on the Government of Sudan to do its utmost to ensure that the perpetrators of the attack are swiftly identified and brought to justice. The Council underlines its determination to take action against those responsible after hearing the outcome of UNAMID’s investigation.
“The Security Council expresses its condolences to the Governments of Rwanda, Ghana and Uganda for the death of their peacekeepers and to the victims’ families. It commends the dedication of UNAMID personnel. The Council stresses that any attack or threat against UNAMID is unacceptable, and demands that there is no reoccurrence. It underlines that attacks on United Nations peacekeepers during an armed conflict can constitute war crimes under applicable international law and calls upon all parties to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law.
“The Security Council calls on all parties to agree to a cessation of hostilities, to engage fully and constructively in the political process under the leadership of the new United Nations-African Union joint Chief Mediator, Djibrill Yipènè Bassolé, and to cooperate fully with the deployment of UNAMID and respect its security and freedom of movement. The Security Council further calls on the United Nations and all parties to facilitate the rapid and complete deployment of UNAMID and on capable Member States to contribute the helicopter and transportation units necessary to ensure the successful implementation of UNAMID’s mandate.”
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* The 5934th Meeting was closed.