Kidnapped peacekeepers ‘in good health’

2010-04-17 08:59

Four South African peacekeepers from the joint UN-African Union mission who were kidnapped this week in the western Sudanese region of Darfur are “in good health,” UNAMID said.

UNAMID spokesperson Nouredine Mezni said: “We were able to talk to them this morning (Friday). They are in good health. We are doing our outmost to secure their release.

“The Sudanese authorities know the identity of the kidnappers but they want to make sure their release takes place in the best possible conditions.”

South African authorities said on Thursday they were “confident” the issue would be resolved soon.

The kidnap of the four UNAMID police – two men and two women – was confirmed on Wednesday. It is the largest single abduction of foreigners in the war-torn region.

In a statement to the official SUNA news agency, Jibril Bukhari Abbas, the head of Darfur group calling itself the People’s Democratic Struggle Movement said one of its members had carried out the kidnapping but without instructions from the group.

Bukhari said the abductor “was unaware of an agreement which was concluded between the government and the People’s Democratic Struggle Movement which has joined the peace march,” SUNA reported.

In a telephone call to AFP, Ibrahim al-Dukki claimed the kidnapping but said that Mohammed Abdallah, not Bukhari, was head of the movement, indicating there might be splinter groups.

“We want one billion Sudanese pounds ($400?000) but that is not the most important. We want to show the international community that security conditions in Darfur do not allow for elections,” Dukki said.

Sunday’s kidnapping came as Sudan was holding its first competitive elections in more than two decades. Election observers from the European Union had pulled out of war-torn Darfur, citing insecurity.

Darfur has been gripped by civil war since 2003. Over the past year, the region has seen a wave of kidnappings of humanitarian workers and expatriates in general.

Since it was first deployed in January 2008, UNAMID has also suffered a number of deadly attacks. – Sapa-AFP

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
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 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.