September 28, 2011 (KHARTOUM) - Five international staff and four Sudanese nationals were kidnapped in Darfur by unknown gunmen on 9 September, a UN source disclosed today.
The incident occurred at Umraik village in North Darfur, which is approximately 30km north-east of Ana Bagi and 65km North west of Kutum. The group was traveling from El Fasher to Chad at the time.
The nationality of the internationals or who they worked for is not known.
They are reported to have been traveling in a convoy of a Land Rover and two trucks carrying drilling machines when they were abducted by an unknown armed group.
The UN source told Sudan Tribune that the 9 September incident was reported to the Sudanese government on 21 September.
Efforts to find and secure the release of the nine hostages are said to be ongoing.
Kidnapping in Darfur began after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir in 2009 for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country’s war ravaged western region. In July last year genocide was added to the charges against him.
Bashir denies the accusations and refutes the legitimacy of the ICC, which was no means to arrest him other than if Sudan or a member of the court hand him over.
The UN estimate that 2,300 people were killed in the conflict in 2010. Since 2003 - when rebels groups took up arms, complaining of discrimination and underdevelopment - the UN say that around 300,000 have been killed.
The Sudanese government say the figure is around 10,000.