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16 JANUARY 2009
RP PEACEKEEPER SLIGHTLY HURT IN SUDAN INCIDENT
NEW YORK—A Filipino police officer serving in Sudan was slightly hurt after former rebels assaulted a group of United Nations peacekeepers in the southern part of the country early this week, the Philippine Mission to the United Nations reported today.
In his report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, Ambassador Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative, identified the peacekeeper as Emmanuel Obeng, an officer of the Philippine National Police serving with the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).
Quoting reports from the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), Ambassador Davide said Obeng suffered a sore collarbone after heavily armed members of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) harassed the UN peacekeepers near Kwajok, Sudan, on 12 January 2009.
Obeng, along with two other UN police advisers, including another Filipino identified as Rendentor Agcio, and a translator, were on their way to train members of the South Sudan Police Services, when the UN vehicle he was driving was stopped by SLA members on board another vehicle at around 11 a.m.
Ambassador Davide said that about 12 SPLA members jumped out of their vehicle, pointed their weapons at the police advisers and ordered them to step out of the vehicle. Obeng was slightly injured when one of the SPLA members struck him with a rifle.
Ambassador Davide said that according to the translator who was with Omeng's group, the SPLA members claimed they were honking to signal them to stop but the team members could not hear the horn because their windows were up and the radio was on.
The SPLA members held the UN police advisers for about four minutes before heading off towards Kwajok. They did not explain why they wanted the UN vehicle to stop. South Sudan authorities, however, promised to look into the incident.
Obeng is among 34 Filipino police officers and 13 military observers serving in UNMIS, which is mandated to help implement the comprehensive peace agreement between the Government of Sudan and the SPLA which were once involved in Africa's longest running civil war.
In Liberia, a Filipino peacekeeper was reported injured in an accident at the headquarters of the Philippine Peacekeeping Contingent. Lt. Col. Danilo Pamonag, commander of the 10th Philippine Peacekeeping Contingent to Liberia, said YN1 Mario Verdidas suffered injuries on his right hand and is now recuperating at a United Nations hospital in Monrovia. ###
ELMER G. CATO Second Secretary & Press Officer Philippine Mission to the United Nations 556 Fifth Avenue, Fifth Floor New York, New York 10036 Tel. No. 212.764.1300 Extension 38
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