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Joint UNAfrican Union mission in Darfur mourns loss of Nigerian officer

5 August 2008The military chief of the United Nations-African Union (AU) mission in Darfur (UNAMID) today paid a condolence visit to members of the Nigerian company operating in Foro Baranga in West Darfur state following the loss of their commanding officer three weeks ago. Major Shehu Gada was shot dead on 16 July while on an administrative patrol.During today’s visit, UNAMID Force Commander General Martin Luther Agwai said that it would be a disaster to allow what happened to Major Gada to happen again and reminded the UNAMID peacekeepers that personal security is paramount. “It is everybody’s business and continues to be the collective responsibility of each one,” he added.The General’s visit follows other visits from the UNAMID’s headquarters to express deep sorrow and sympathy to all those in the mission’s Nigerian contingent.In a related development, a team from UNAMID’s sector south headquarters conducted an air patrol to parts of South Darfur to investigate reports of aerial bombardment by the Sudanese Government. UNAMID said the visit was successful, and that a full report would be communicated soon.Last week the Security Council extended UNAMID’s mandate by 12 months until the end of July 2009. Since taking over from an AU peace monitoring mission in the strife-torn region of western Sudan at the start of this year, UNAMID has deployed just under 10,000 uniformed personnel, far short of the approximately 26,000 troops and police officers expected when the force reaches full operations.

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