For Immediate Release
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) strongly condemns the attack on the AMIS (African Union Mission in Sudan) peacekeeping force in Darfur, which reportedly killed more than ten African Union (AU) peacekeepers and left 25 missing. The attack was allegedly committed by splinter factions of the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA). Despite this unjustified and illegal attack, PHR urges members of the AU, especially Senegal and Nigeria, to continue their critical mission in Darfur.
"The horrific attack on AMIS forces this weekend, while tragic, should not be allowed to slow or limit the immediate deployment of the expanded UN-AU force in Darfur," stated Frank Donaghue, Chief Executive Officer of PHR. "The ongoing humanitarian operation and the dire need for the most basic protection for civilians must not be jeopardized by this terrible incident."
The group reiterates its call for the UN to expedite the deployment of the 26,000 strong joint AU-UN force, UNAMID, slated to arrive in the region at the end of this year. In the meantime, the international community must quickly address the ongoing logistical problems and equipment shortfalls that have plagued the AMIS force since its initial deployment. Also, PHR calls on the Government of Sudan, other parties to the conflict, and UN Security Council members to ensure that all atrocities committed in Darfur, including the recent attack on the African Union, are investigated and referred to the International Criminal Court as appropriate.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.