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Sudanese staff of Irish aid group ''abducted'' in Darfur

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd June 2014 10:15 AM

Two Sudanese employees of the Irish aid group GOAL have been abducted in the troubled Darfur region, the group said in a statement

Two Sudanese employees of the Irish aid group GOAL have been abducted in the troubled Darfur region, the group said in a statement

KHARTOUM - Two Sudanese employees of the Irish aid group GOAL have been abducted in the troubled Darfur region, the group said in a statement.

It is the latest incident of its kind in a region where crime and other violence has surged.

They "were abducted by an unknown group while travelling by vehicle on a routine assignment close to Kutum town in North Darfur," GOAL said.

Along with the two GOAL staffers, a Sudanese working with another agency was also taken, it said.

"Our hearts go out to the families of our courageous colleagues," GOAL said in a Tweet.

The incident occurred on Wednesday near Kutum town, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) northwest of El Fasher, the state capital.

"All relevant authorities have been informed and are working with GOAL's crisis management team and team in country to determine the next course of action," said GOAL's chief operations officer Jonathan Edgar.

Violence throughout Darfur has been at its worst in a decade this year, with about 395,000 people displaced since January, according to the United Nations.

Peacekeepers have blamed government paramilitaries, inter-communal fighting, rebel offensives and criminal activity for the surge in unrest.

Over the past two years as Sudan's economy weakened, inter-communal clashes over resources intensified in Darfur, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said, adding that tribal militias have become involved.

Analysts say the government can no longer control its Arab tribal allies, whom it armed against insurgents who began a rebellion in 2003.

Last week, an Indian contractor with the UNAMID peacekeeping mission was freed after 94 days in captivity. He had been abducted by armed men while walking in El Fasher.

UNAMID announced on May 1 that one of its peacekeepers had been released in South Darfur after almost two months in captivity. It did not say who took him.

Carjackings and robberies drove a doubling of security incidents involving foreign aid groups in Darfur last year, UN data obtained by AFP in February showed.

AFP

Sudanese staff of Irish aid group ''abducted'' in Darfur

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