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Darfur: UN-AU Mission To Probe Misconduct By Staff

Darfur: UN-AU mission to probe misconduct allegations about staff member

15 April 2008 - The United Nations-African Union hybrid peacekeeping force in Sudan's war-wracked Darfur region said today that it has opened an investigation into allegations by local authorities that one of its staff has engaged in misconduct.

The officer, serving with the mission (known as UNAMID) in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, was detained by authorities on Sunday before being handed over to the mission, as per the status-of-forces agreement signed by the Sudanese Government and UNAMID.

"It should be noted that medical tests undertaken this far, at the request of local police, proved negative," the mission said in a statement to the press.

"UNAMID upholds a zero-tolerance policy as regards misconduct by peacekeepers. Peacekeepers are expected to respect the culture and traditions of the host country and show the highest standards of conduct at all times."

The statement stressed that should the allegations prove founded, then the mission would take "appropriate measures" to deal with the staff member.

UNAMID was established by the Security Council last year to try to bring stability to Darfur, which has been beset by fighting between rebels, Government forces and allied militiamen since 2003. In that time, more than 200,000 people have died from violence, hunger or disease and nearly 2.5 million others have had to flee their homes.

At full deployment the mission should have around 26,000 uniformed personnel, but it currently has less than 10,000 troops, military observers and police officers in place across the arid and isolated region.

ENDS

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