Darfur, 5 September 2013 – The body of an African Union-United Nations peacekeeper who had been assisting flood victims has been recovered in Darfur, a spokesperson announced today.
“The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) reports that one of its patrols has recovered the remains of one of the four peacekeepers reported missing following floods late last month,” the spokesperson told journalists in New York.
Six AU-UN peacekeepers were swept away by powerful currents on 25 August while escorting UN World Food Programme (WFP) trucks to Masteri, west Darfur.
The incident occurred when the peacekeepers attempted to pull out their truck which was stuck in the mud of a river valley near Nioro village approximately 30 kilometres southwest of El Geneina
A rescue team later found two of the peacekeepers alive, but four had remained missing.
Established in July 2007, UNAMID has the protection of civilians as its core mandate. In addition, the peacekeeping operation is tasked with facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid and assisting with an inclusive peace process in Darfur, where fighting broke out nine years ago, pitting Government forces and allied militiamen against rebel groups.
In recent weeks, the UN and its partners in Sudan have been working to provide emergency support hundreds of thousands of people that have been affected by flooding.
According to Government estimates, as many as 530,000 people have been affected by the floods triggered by heavy rains across the country, and at least 74,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed by the rapidly rising waters.