UN workers kidnapped in Darfur

Rebels have abducted about 16 United Nations aid workers in Sudan's western Darfur region.

    The world body has warned of a humanitarian crisis in Darfur

    Rebels of the Sudan Liberation Movement took employees of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as hostages on Saturday, said Sudanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Najib al-Khair Abd al-Wahab.

    The United Nations says fighting in Darfur, where a rebellion began a year ago, has displaced about one million people and that the threat of malnutrition and disease among refugees could cause a humanitarian crisis.

    Abd al-Wahab said that the government is currently communicating with all sides. He condemned the incident and said he regretted the threats posed to the safety and security of employees of the UN and other aid agencies, particularly given the efforts they are exerting to restore stability in the Darfur region.

    A UN official declined to comment on the report and Abd al-Wahab gave no further details. Spokesman for the rebels were not available to comment.

    Rebels took up arms in Darfur against the government last year, accusing Khartoum of neglecting the remote area bordering Chad.

    Around 158,000 refugee have fled to neighbouring Chad where the UN agency for refugees says many are at risk of attack by militias, and malnutrition and disease are spreading.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.