Friday, March 13, 2009

Sudan: Aid Workers Abducted

KHARTOUM, Sudan — Armed men stormed an aid agency compound in Darfur and kidnapped three Westerners, heightening fears that foreigners will be targeted in the backlash over the international arrest warrant for Sudan's president.

The three workers for Doctors Without Borders were kidnapped late Wednesday in a government-controlled area in northern Darfur, close to a stronghold of government-allied Arab militiamen known as janjaweed.

The Sudanese government condemned the attack and denied any involvement. But officials quickly blamed the arrest warrant issued last week by the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court accusing President Omar al-Bashir of war crimes in Darfur[...]

The gunmen seized a Canadian nurse, an Italian doctor and a French coordinator, along with two Sudanese guards who were released several hours later, Sandars said. It was not clear if violence was used in the abduction.
More, from the fold, from Sudan Tribune
Yesterday unidentified gunmen abducted five aid workers form Médecins Sans Frontières – Belgium (MSF), two Sudanese, a Belgian nurse, a Canadian doctor and French coordinator. The Sudanese are released early today with a demand of ransom for the release of the abducted foreigners[...]

However, the spokesperson of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) accused a militia led by Musa Hilal, of abducting the MSF workers. Hilal who is a leader of Darfurian Mahameed clan, is also accused of taking part in Darfur terror campaigns orchestrated by Khartoum.

Ahmed Hussein Adam said the kidnappers conducted the aid hostages to Gelay, north eastern of Kabkabiyya the headquarters of Musa Hilal militias.

From Brussels, MSF Belgium said today it plans to withdraw from Darfur. "This will be a further blow to the delivery of humanitarian assistance in that area, so the consequences are also extremely worrying for the civilians of Darfur," said Christopher Stokes, general director of MSF Belgium, in a press conference held today.

The abduction occurred two days after the establishment of an alliance of Sudanese Islamist jihadists and Darfur pro-government militia groups pledging to carry out 250 attacks against countries that are supporting the decisions of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Musa Hilal, who is an adviser for the ministry of federal government, is one of the members of this alliance as the head of the Darfur Lions Brigade.

The Darfur rebel movements condemned the kidnapping and said only the Sudanese government bears responsibility of the abduction.
Dangerous situation there and will only worsen unfortunately.

The hostages are in my thoughts and prayers, lets hope they soon will be released unharmed.

h/t leapofaith

Crossposted at Jawa Report

No comments: