November 25, 2016 (NYALA) - Four Sudanese national workers at the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) were freed late night on Thursday after hours of abduction by unknown gunmen in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state.
- A UNAMID peacekeeper during a routine patrol in Tawila, North Darfur.(Photo UNAMID/Hamid Abdelsalam)
Five masked gunmen riding a four wheel drive vehicle (Land Cruiser) without traffic plates intercepted four UNAMID staffers, including a female. Initial reports said the woman had been released and only the three men had been abducted, but it appeared that she had been kidnapped also.
The incident occurred near Nyala Technical College, as the employees were on their way to the mission’s headquarters in Sagra area 21 km north east of Nyala.
Mohamed Fadl, a family member of one of the abductees told Sudan Tribune on Friday that the unknown gunmen have released the abductees late Thursday night at Dama area, 40 km. north east of Nyala.
He said the gunmen stole 220,000 Sudanese pounds (about $12,000) from the mission’s workers besides their mobile phones and a vehicle, pointing the weary workers who were released at a remote area managed to contact their families.
According to Fadl, the workers were interrogated by the security services after they arrived in Nyala, saying that looting, kidnapping and terrorism charges have been filed against the unknown gunmen under articles “144”, “162” and “175” of the 1991 Criminal Code.
UNAMID is the world’s largest peacekeeping force in the world and has been deployed in Darfur since 2007. Almost 170 of its troops and police have been killed in the region since that time.
South Darfur has witnessed an escalation in violence and lawlessness in recent months amid clashes between Darfur rebels, Sudanese government forces and government militias.