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unamid.jpgKHARTOUM, Sudan - Armed men abducted two United Nations -African Union (UNAMID) peacekeepers in the Darfur region of Sudan on Saturday, the mission said.

“Two police advisers were abducted about 100 yards from their accommodation in Nyala,” a UNAMID spokesman Chris Cycmanick said, adding that three gunmen in a car took them away.

An American woman working for the charity Samaritan’s Purse was kidnapped almost three months ago near Nyala and remains in captivity.

Abductions of foreign workers in Sudan’s violent west began in March 2009, after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes in Darfur. Tribal leaders say kidnappings foreigners has become a new business in Darfur with the government paying large ransoms for some hostages, many of whom are abducted by young men from Arab tribes. Sudan denies paying any ransom money, but it has not prosecuted anyone in the abductions, despite promising to do so.

The kidnappings have severely restricted UNAMID, the world’s largest aid operation, with most foreign staff having moved back to the main towns from more remote and needy areas.

Mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms in early 2003 accusing Sudan of neglect. A brutal counter-insurgency campaign drove some 2 million people from their homes to miserable camps, sparking one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. The United Nations estimates some 300,000 have died in Darfur.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/world/africa/15sudan.html?_r=1&ref=africa

Tag(s) : #Afrique de l'Ouest