World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Sudan Delayed Evacuation Flight for Wounded Peacekeepers

Sudan Delayed Evacuation Flight for Wounded Peacekeepers – UN Official

New York, Aug 4 2011 - Sudanese authorities threatened to shoot a helicopter trying to medically evacuate three seriously injured United Nations blue helmets in Sudan’s troubled Abyei area, causing a three-hour delay in the rescue mission, the outgoing head of UN peacekeeping said today.

Four Ethiopian blue helmets – part of the newly established UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) – died and seven others were injured on Tuesday after their patrol vehicle hit a landmine.

One of the soldiers died on the spot and the three others waiting to be evacuated subsequently succumbed to their injuries, according to Alain Le Roy, the outgoing UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.

“We didn’t get the clearance for the Medevac helicopter to take off immediately,” Mr. Le Roy told reporters at UN Headquarters. He said there had been a threat to shoot down the aircraft if it took off without clearance.

A board of inquiry is looking into the incident and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has raised the issue with the Sudanese authorities, according to Mr. Le Roy.

He stressed that under the status of forces agreement entered into by the UN and the government of a country where a peacekeeping mission is deployed, medical evacuation flights do not require prior authorization.

Mr. Le Roy also said it was difficult to say whether the lives of the three peacekeepers could have been saved if the helicopter had been allowed to take off immediately.

More than 1,500 troops, all Ethiopian, have been deployed in Abyei since the Security Council voted in June to establish UNISFA after north-south violence forced more than 100,000 people to flee their homes.

For more details go to UN News Centre at


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN News: Landmark G7 Agreement Pledges 870 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses, Half By End-2021

A senior UN official welcomed on Sunday, the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations’ commitment to immediately share at least 870 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, supporting global access and helping to end the acute phase of the pandemic... More>>

OECD: G20 GDP Returns To Pre-pandemic Level In The First Quarter Of 2021, But With Large Differences Across Countries

Gross domestic product (GDP) of the G20 area returned to pre-pandemic level in the first quarter of 2021, growing by 0.8% compared with the fourth quarter of 2020. However, this figure conceals large differences across countries... More>>

Myanmar: ‘Mass Deaths’ Alert As 100,000 Flee Junta’s Heavy Weapons

In Myanmar, international action is needed urgently to prevent “mass deaths” there, after civilians fled attacks by so-called “junta bombs”, a top independent UN rights expert has warned... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Tackling Biodiversity & Climate Crises Together And Their Combined Social Impacts

Unprecedented changes in climate and biodiversity, driven by human activities, have combined and increasingly threaten nature, human lives, livelihoods and well-being around the world... More>>

G7: No Major G7 Stock Index Aligned With Paris Climate Goals

New research by CDP and the United Nations Global Compact on behalf of the Science Based Targets initiative calls on the largest G7 companies to take ambitious climate action... More>>

Report: Universal Access To Sustainable Energy Will Remain Elusive Without Addressing Inequalities

During the last decade, a greater share of the global population gained access to electricity than ever before, but the number of people without electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa actually increased... More>>