Civilian working for peacekeepers abducted in Darfur: UN
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Last Updated: Friday, October 08, 2010, 11:08
Khartoum: A civilian with the joint UN- African Union UNAMID peacekeeping force was kidnapped by gunmen in Sudan's El Fasher in Darfur as a UN Security Council delegation visited the town, UN officials said.

"A member of the peacekeeping force has been kidnapped in El Fasher," a UN official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

UNAMID spokesman Kemal Saiki yesterday confirmed to AFP that an expatriate civilian working for the force had been abducted at nightfall in El Fasher, historic capital of Sudan's troubled western region.

"Four armed men burst into a UNAMID residence building. Two people inside were tied up and another two were obliged to follow the gunmen in a UNAMID vehicle.

"As the vehicle was leaving, one UNAMID employee was able to flee. The other is still missing," Saiki said, adding that the incident took place in the centre of the town and not on the UN base where the senior delegation was.

The incident "is not linked to the Security Council visit," he said.

Earlier, hundreds of supporters of Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir gave a hostile reception to UN Security Council ambassadors in El Fasher, briefly preventing them from leaving the airport.

Ambassadors from the 15 UN Security Council nations, including the five permanent powers -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- are on a four-day mission to Sudan to check the troubled preparations for a self- determination referendum in south Sudan on January 9 and to visit Darfur.

The Darfur leg of their trip is to raise concerns about renewed clashes in the region where the United Nations estimates about 300,000 people have died since 2003. The Khartoum government puts the death toll at 10,000.


First Published: Friday, October 08, 2010, 11:08

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