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For Immediate Release

PHR Condemns Attack on AU Troops in Darfur

Group Calls for Bolster of AU Force and Rapid Deployment of Hybrid Peacekeepers

Cambridge, Mass - 10/01/2007

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 an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. We are supported by the expertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.

Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

  • 1986 — Led investigations of torture in Chile gaining freedom for heroic doctors there
  • 1988 — First to document the Iraqi use of chemical weapons on Kurds providing               evidence for prosecution of war criminals
  • 1996 — Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans and Rwanda to provide evidence for               International Criminal Tribunals
  • 1997 — Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 — Warned US Policymakers on health and human rights conditions prior to and               during the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 — Documented genocide and sexual violence in Darfur in support of international               prosecutions
  • 2010 — Investigated the epidemic of violence spread by Burma’s military junta
  • 2011 — Championed the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of               armed conflict and civil unrest during the Arab Spring
  • 2012 — Trained doctors, lawyers, police, and judges in the Democratic Republic of the               Congo, Kenya, and Syria on the proper collection of evidence in sexual               violence cases
  • 2013 — Won first prize in the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention with MediCapt, our               mobile app that documents evidence of torture and sexual violence

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