Three aid workers abducted in Sudan’s Darfur


Armed men abducted three aid workers, two Sudanese and one expatriate, in Sudan’s western Darfur region, a United Nations spokesperson says.

“We have received reports of an abduction yesterday outside of Nyala,” said Sam Hendricks, a UN spokesperson in Khartoum. “One international and two nationals from an NGO.”

Nyala is the capital of South Darfur state.

Hendricks said eight armed men stopped a two-car convoy, stole the vehicles and took three aid workers with them, leaving behind three others.

Four South Africans from the UN-African Union peacekeeping mission were kidnapped in Nyala last month, but released after the Sudanese government struck a deal with their captors.

A wave of kidnappings, mostly by men demanding ransoms, has hit Darfur since the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir last year for war crimes in the region in the throes of a seven-year revolt.

One international source said the abducted expatriate was an American but the US embassy was not immediately able to confirm the report.

The United Nations estimates some 300 000 people have died in the humanitarian crisis sparked by a counter-insurgency campaign in western Sudan which also drove 2 million people from their homes. Sudan says the number of deaths is far lower.