News24

Unamid 2 missing in Sudan's Darfur

2012-08-21 17:11

Khartoum - Two peacekeepers from the African Union-UN mission in Darfur (Unamid) have been missing since Monday, Unamid said on Tuesday, the latest incident in a region witnessing an upsurge of unrest.

A brief statement from Unamid said only that "two of its peacekeepers have gone missing" from Kebkabiya town, about 140km west of the North Darfur state capital El Fasher.

Both Unamid and the Sudanese government are investigating, it said.

Sources in the area told AFP the two peacekeepers are from Jordan.

Unamid is the world's largest peacekeeping operation, with about 16 700 troops whose core mandate is to protect civilians in Sudan's far-western region where rebels drawn from black African tribes rose up against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government in 2003.

The conflict peaked years ago, killing at least 300 000 people, according to UN estimates. The government said 10 000 died.

Clashes between rebels and government troops, kidnappings, banditry and inter-ethnic fighting continue in the region, although Khartoum last year signed a peace deal with rebel splinter factions.

The UN says an estimated 1.7 million people remain in camps for the displaced in Darfur.

Last week a dispute left six people dead and 12 wounded in Mellit town, north of El Fasher, but security forces managed to avert a tribal conflict, official media reported.

Earlier in August the UN said 25 000 people had been displaced around the town of Kutum, in another part of North Darfur, after unrest that began with the killing of a government official.