On Monday, two AU soldiers were killed and a third was seriously injured when they were attacked by a militia group in South Darfur. The US State Department released the following message:
The United States condemns the killing of two African Union soldiers in Sudan and calls for a full investigation of the incident. We expect the perpetrators to be found and brought to justice. The soldiers, part of an African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) protection force, were on administrative duty in Graida, Darfur when they were abducted and killed March 5, 2007. A third soldier was injured. Our condolences go to the families of these soldiers, who were serving far from home to protect civilians in Darfur.
The killings bring to 11 the number of AU military personnel who have died since the AMIS force assumed peacekeeping duties in Darfur in western Sudan in 2004. About 7,000 AU forces are assigned to Darfur.
The United States and its international partners support transitioning the AU force to a hybrid UN-AU force of about 20,000 under UN command and control.
According to the Sudan Tribune, the soldiers were abducted and taken to the town of Gereida where they were killed and their vehicle was stolen. The African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) said they believed “elements belonging to SLM/A (Sudan Liberation Movement/Army)” were responsible for the attack.