[QODLink]
Africa
UN peacekeepers abducted in Darfur
Four South African peacekeepers from joint AU-UN force kidnapped.
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2010 18:02 GMT
The Unamid force has yet to receive word from the abductors who also took their vehicle [AFP]
 

Four South African peacekeepers have been kidnapped in Sudan's Darfur region, the joint African Union-United Nations force has said.

"They have been abducted. We are doing all we can to make sure they are released unharmed," Noureddine Mezni, the spokesman for the AU-UN hybrid operation in Darfur (Unamid) said, adding it was not known what group carried out the kidnapping.

The two men and two women, part of Unamid's police force, were last seen leaving their base near Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, on Sunday afternoon, Mezni said.

"A crisis group has been set up with the Sudanese authorities to follow the issue," he added.

The Unamid force has so far not received any message from the abductors who also took the peacekeepers' vehicle, Mezni said.

Ransom business

Darfur has seen a wave of kidnappings of expatriates, including Unamid officials, in the past year, mostly by armed young men demanding ransom.

The last foreign hostage in Darfur, Gauthier Lefevre, an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) worker was released last month after 147 days in captivity.

Law and order has collapsed in the remote western region since rebels took up arms against Sudan's government in 2003, accusing it of neglecting the territory.

Unamid reported the four peacekeepers had gone missing earlier this week, but at the time said it did not know what had happened to them.

Ibrahim Gambari, Unamid's chief, said in a statement read by Mezni on Monday: "There has been no sighting of our staff and we are deeply concerned for their well-being."

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.