A member of the African Union-United Nation Mission alights from a UNAMID-marked vehicle at a camp for internally displaced persons in North Darfur. Four Nigerian members of UNAMID were killed at an ambush by unidentified gunmen. Photo by: Albert González Farran / UNAMID

The largest peacekeeping mission in the world has again been targeted in a deadly attack that left four Nigerians dead and eight wounded.

Unidentified gunmen ambushed a Nigerian military patrol of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur Tuesday night (Oct. 2). The troops were on their way to the mission’s regional headquarters in El Geneina, West Darfur, just 2 kilometers away from the site, when assailants open fired on the convoy.

One peacekeeper is in critical condition, UNAMID spokesman Chris Cycmanick told U.N. radio.

UNAMID Force Commander and officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba condemned the attack. He called on the Sudanese government to “bring the perpetrators to justice,” the same message U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave through his representative. Ban expressed his condolences to the Nigerian government, the peacekeepers’ families and UNAMID, and urged Sudan to “conduct a full investigation.”

This is not the first time UNAMID peacekeepers working in Darfur, a region marred by years of conflict, have been subjected to such an attack. In 2010, unidentified assailants open fired on Rwandan peacekeepers in the city of Nertiti, also in West Darfur. The attack left three peacekeepers dead and one wounded.

More than 40 peacekeepers have been killed in the region since the mission started in 2008, according to a news release from UNAMID. More than 20,000 uniformed personnel are serving under the current mission, which expires July 2013. Their mandate includes assisting in humanitarian aid operations.

“I think this is probably one of the deadliest days that we’ve had in terms of losing peacekeepers,” Cycmanick said, according toVoice of America.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.

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