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22.02.2012 Sudan

UNAMID Force Commander congratulate troops in northwestern Darfur

By United Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
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EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, February 22, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Having led the operation which succeeded in the return of a UNAMID patrol which had been blocked by rebel forces for two days in North West Darfur, the Force Commander of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur flew to the region today to pay tribute to his troops.

“We are peacekeepers first and foremost. We are here for peace. However, if there is a need that requires us to use force, we will use it,” General Patrick Nyamvumba told UNAMID Peacekeepers in Umm Baru. “And remember, we are under chapter seven,” he said, citing the United Nations Charter's reference to the use of force in Peacekeeping. ““I am here to thank you for showing that if it's time to use force you are ready to do it.”

A UNAMID patrol of 55 personnel, manly Senegalese troops, was blocked by armed member of the Justice and Equality Movement on 19 and 20 February. The Force Commander had called in reinforcements to surround the 100 JEM forces who continued to hold two UNAMID civilian staff and one police advisor, after lifting the blockade on the troops. JEM forces let the three rejoin the patrol yesterday afternoon.

General Myamvumba led a debriefing on the operation and encouraged the troops to continue undertaking the Mission's core mandate in protection of civilians. “I am here on behalf of the Mission leadership to congratulate you for holding on up to the end.” He said. “We would have never left without the three civilians, and we were ready to take the proper actions to release them.”

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