2 Sudanese killed in attack on who vehicle in Darfur: U.N.

A fighter from the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces sits in an armed vehicle in the city of Nyala, in south Darfur. (AFP)

Gunmen in conflict-hit Darfur shot dead two Sudanese government staff and stole a vehicle carrying officials from the World Health Organisation and the state health ministry, the U.N. said Thursday.

“Unidentified gunmen ambushed the vehicle, killing the driver and a security official” some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from West Darfur state capital El Geneina on Tuesday, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

Two officials from the West Darfur state health ministry and a WHO doctor were unharmed in the attack, OCHA said in a statement. The gunmen stole the vehicle and escaped.

The team had been investigating whether the guinea-worm parasite, which has been the focus of a worldwide eradication campaign for three decades, is still present in Sudan.

“WHO deplores this attack on our health workers and government colleagues. Health services are a pivotal part of all humanitarian work,” said WHO Sudan Representative Naeema al-Gaseer.

Darfur erupted into conflict in 2003 when ethnic minority rebels in the western region rebelled against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government, complaining of marginalisation.

President Omar al-Bashir unleashed a brutal counter-insurgency using Arab militia as well as regular troops.

Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges connected to the conflict.

More than 2.5 million people in the region have been displaced and some 300,000 killed, according to the UN.

Insecurity in Darfur has deepened in recent years with rising criminality and inter-tribal violence over land and resources further destabilising the region.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48