Los Angeles 10/8/2010 10:54:44 PM
UN Peacekeeper Abducted In Darfur
A UN worker was kidnapped Thursday night in Darfur Region in Sudan amid latest clashes between government troops and rebels.
While the abduction is more likely to be about money than about politics, it has raised fresh concerns over deteriorating peace and security conditions in the region, where government forces have been combating insurgents for the past six years.
The UN peacekeeper, whose nationality is still not known, was kidnapped a few hours after a UN Security Council mission set foot in the capital of Darfur El Fasher.
A spokesperson for the UN mission stated, "Armed men entered the residence of four civilian staff members in downtown El Fasher. They tied up two of them and made away with the other two in a vehicle. One man escaped and the other is still missing".
The delegation was warmly received in the southern Sudanese city of Juba, where people came out to the streets to cheer on the envoy. But when it landed in El fasher, a large number of protestors surrounded the airport and almost prevented the delegation from coming out, according to Sudan Tribune. The protestors were supporters of Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, who is wanted by International Criminal Court for committing war crimes in Darfur.
The UN delegation has refused to hold a meeting with Bashir, but this is not likely to be the reason for abduction. Several foreign nationals have been kidnapped in Darfur since arrest warrants were issued for the president, but the kidnappings were mostly motivated by money.