Rebels kidnap 31 in Sudan’s DarfurSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 26/03/2013 1:21 am in World / no comments
KHARTOUM, March 25 — Rebels in Sudan’s Darfur region on Sunday kidnapped 31 displaced persons and a number of peacekeepers of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), local Sudanese media reported Monday.
“Rebels of armed movements made an ambush at Kass area in Central Darfur State, kidnapped 31 displaced persons and some of UNAMID members and took them to an unknown area,” Khartoum’s Al- Sudani daily quoted Yousif Tibin, Central Darfur State governor, as saying.
He added that they were on their way to attend the displaced persons’ conference scheduled on Monday in Nyala, capital of South Darfur State.
The governor further noted that the kidnapped included eight women and 23 men representing the leaders of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) besides a number of UNAMID peacekeepers.
He condemned the rebels and regarded the incident as a terrorist behavior, saying “we hold the rebels responsible for the lives of the displaced persons and UNAMID personnel,” noting that the rebels, with their act, wanted to cripple the conference which tends to encourage the voluntary return of the IDPs.
Meanwhile, the governor accused the UNAMID peacekeepers of neglecting the advises of the security authorities which warned against the risks of travelling by land and stressed the importance of travelling by air, noting that the UNAMID forces insisted on travelling of the IDPs by land.
He said the UNAMID peacekeepers did not show any resistance for the rebels when they kidnapped the IDPs, affirming that UNAMID didn’t have any action on the ground for the protection of the displaced persons since its entry to the country.
No comment could immediately be attained from UNAMID.
UNAMID took over the peacekeeping mission in Darfur from the African Union Mission in Sudan on Dec. 31, 2007. The mission planned to deploy 26,000 members of military and police to protect the civilians in the region, who have been suffering from a civil war since 2003.
The mission has encountered repeated attacks by unidentified gunmen in the region, which led to the death of more than 34 peacekeepers and kidnapping of a number of its personnel during the past five years.