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Cablegate: October 6 Attack On Unamid Convoy

VZCZCXRO3338
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1507 2841348
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101348Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2049
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001507

DEPT FOR AF A/S FRAZER, SE WILLIAMSON, AF/SPG
NSC FOR PITTMAN AND HUDSON
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: OCTOBER 6 ATTACK ON UNAMID CONVOY

1. (SBU) The UNAMID Public Information Office in El Fasher and the
UN Department of Security Services (UNDSS) Khartoum, confirmed that
on October 6 at 17:00 local time, a UNAMID joint military police
security convoy was ambushed by an undetermined number of armed men
while on patrol near the town of Manawashe, approximately 75
kilometers north of Nyala, the capital of Southern Darfur State.
The unit was on a regularly scheduled area assessment patrol that
starts in Manawashe, runs north to Zam Zam then to Khor Abeche, and
then returns back to Menawashi. The attack took place in an area
where the unit normally turns from Khor Abeche to Menawashi. The
unit consisted of 70 individuals: 53 protection force personnel, two
Military observers, 13 UNAMID police officers and two language
assistants.

3. (SBU) During the attack, the driver of an armored personnel
carrier (APC) maneuvered the vehicle between the attackers and the
convoy to provide protection and allow the rest of the troops to
escape. During the clash, twenty-year-old Vincent Kwari, a Nigerian
sergeant from the Nigerian Battalion 2, UNAMID, was accidentally
struck and crushed by the UNAMID APC. Kwari was taken to a Nyala
hospital where he died at approximately 17:45 local time. Following
the attack, the patrol, reinforced by 43 Nyala personnel, returned
to the site to secure the area. In the process, the returning
patrol captured a wounded attacker. UNAMID will investigate the
circumstances and cause of this attack and will increase its patrols
in the area.

4. (SBU) Sector Commander, Sector South UNAMID Brigadier General
Fred Eze also confirmed the attack and gave further details that the
UNAMID force had only one APC as the alternate was out of service.
With the exception of the single APC, the rest of the Nigerian force
fled when ambushed. BG Eze also confirmed the arrest of one of the
attackers, 20 year old Muhammad Abdullah Qasim. During subsequent
questioning by police in Nyala, Qasim claimed affiliation with a
group called "Irada Shabah" led by Ibrahim Muhammad Adam. BG Eze
stated that he had never heard of this group and acknowledged the
Arabic translation is not clear.

5. (SBU) Local newspapers Akhir La Hza and Al Sahafa both reported
the story on page one (not as a principal story) but neither mention
specifics of how the soldier was killed. Both articles mention the
ambush came from 40-60 "armed bandits" one of whom had been
arrested.

6. (SBU) Comment: As with many recent attacks in Darfur, it is
extremely difficult to identify the affiliation of the perpetrators,
and in some cases the perpetrators may attempt to disguise their
affiliation. In this case it seems the attackers were more than
just bandits, but it is not clear if this unknown group of attackers
is a rebel group or a militia affiliated with the government.

ASQUINO

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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