Posted on May 9, 2006

U.N. Envoy Flees Mob in Darfur

CNN, May 8, 2006

NYALA, Sudan — Angry demonstrators have killed a Sudanese interpreter working with African Union forces in Darfur in riots that broke out during a senior U.N. official’s visit to a camp for displaced Sudanese, forcing him to flee.

Jan Egeland, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said the man was killed in an African Union police station after Egeland and his entourage were chased from the Kalma camp during violent protests.

The man, who was hacked to death when a civil police post was overrun after Egeland fled the camp, was serving as a translator for the police.

Egeland condemned the killing, saying it was the result of rising tensions in the camp. He urged local officials, U.N. officials and African Union leaders to find a way to calm the tensions.


According to Robertson, the crowd at the Kalma camp turned ugly when someone misinterpreted what an Oxfam interpreter was telling officials from the UK-based charity and decided he was a government spy.

The mob tried to stab the man and to pull him out of a U.N. vehicle, breaking windows in their efforts.

The vehicle, in which Robertson was riding, finally pulled away from the crowd. Video shot by CNN photographer Neil Bennett showed several refugees surrounding the vehicle, and angry shouts could be heard.

Egeland and his entourage also had to flee the demonstrators, who had earlier been demanding that U.N. peacekeepers come to the region.