UN presses Sudan on security

2010-10-08 12:05


El Fasher – The United Nations ambassadors pressed the Sudanese authorities to do more to ensure the safety of aid workers and peacekeepers in Darfur on Friday after gunmen abducted a UN staffer.

The 15 Security Council envoys, who were in Darfur to express UN concern about renewing fighting between government troops and ethnic minority rebels in the western region, met North Darfur state Governor Othman Mohammed Yusef Kabbir.

Britain's UN ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant, said the envoys had told Kabbir of their concern for the civilian employee of the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur (Unamid) who was kidnapped at nightfall on Thursday.

"One of the reasons for the council being in Darfur was to highlight its underlying concern about security, including for aid workers and peacekeepers," Lyall Grant said after the meeting.

Thursday's abduction was the first to hit Darfur peacekeepers in El Fasher, the region's historic capital, although there have been thefts and carjackings in the past, a spokesman for the force said.

"The Sudanese authorities put out an all-points bulletin and started an immediate manhunt," spokesperson Kemal Saiki said.

"Sudanese police have stepped up security at checkpoints in all El Fasher."

Saiki said four or five gunmen broke into a house where UN staff were based and abducted two of the four people there at the time.

No indication of  the motives

"They tied them and took them away with one of the Unamid cars that was there," he said.

"As they were getting away, one of the Unamid workers succeeded in escaping. He opened the door and jumped out."

Saiki said it was unclear who was responsible for the kidnapping.

"We have no indication of the motives. We have no indication of their identities," he said.

The peacekeeping force has around 1 000 foreign personnel in El Fasher, 600 of them at a military base there.

Saiki said plans were afoot to move more of the staff to the base where security was better.

The British ambassador said he did not think the abduction was directly linked to the visit by Security Council representatives.

"It highlights the general security situation in El Fasher and in Darfur," Lyall Grant said.

Noisy protest

For a second straight day, supporters of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir held a noisy protest against the arrest warrant issued for him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide over his government's handling of the Darfur conflict.

Some 200 demonstrators gathered outside the state government building where the UN envoys were meeting the governor chanting "down, down with the ICC."

The governor accused the international community of politicising the Darfur conflict and called on the Security Council ambassadors to take steps to adopt a more neutral stance.

"You see with one eye instead of two, you hear with one ear instead of two," Kabbir said.

Since ethnic minority rebels first rose up against the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime in 2003, about 300 000 people have died and 2.7 million people fled their homes, according to UN estimates.

The government puts the death toll at 10 000.

Read more on:    un  |  unamid  |  sudan  |  abductions  |  east africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


Zille: Only DA can challenge ANC in F State

The DA is the only party that can challenge the ANC in the Free State, opposition party leader Helen Zille says.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Monday Melkbosstrand - 16:47 PM
    Road name: R27 West Coast Road Southbound
    DELAYS approaching the Melkbos turning due to high volumes
  • Monday Camps Bay - 16:14 PM
    Road name: Victoria Road Northbound
    HEAVY TRAFFIC through Camps Bay
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R5727.00

I'm shopping for:


There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.