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North Darfur farmers abducted in Saraf Umra

October 25 - 2015 SARAF UMRA
Saraf Umra (OCHA map of Darfur)
Saraf Umra (OCHA map of Darfur)

Gunmen kidnapped three residents of the Dankoj camp for the displaced in Saraf Umra locality on Saturday. The same day, aircraft of the Sudanese Air Force searched the area near Saraf Umra town for a Ukrainian pilot and a Sudanese translator who were reportedly taken to the area after being abducted in West Darfur a week ago.

The coordinator of the Saraf Umra camps, Sheikh Abdelrazeg Yousef Suleiman, reported to Radio Dabanga that Haroun and Omar Hassan, and Hafiz Yousef Adam were kidnapped as they worked their farms in Wadi Bari, south of Saraf Umra.

“Haroun and Omar were released on Saturday evening,” he said. “While the kidnaping was reported to the police, we also formed a team to search for Hafiz, a secondary school student. The tracks ended in the area east of Saraf Umra’s El Riyad district, but the team did not find him there.”

The sheikh demanded from Unamid to “arrange regular patrols, for the protection of displaced people inside and outside the camps”.

Sudanese Air Force

When the kidnappers of a Ukrainian pilot and a Sudanese translator did not release them before the deadline on Wednesday, and mediation also failed, the Sudanese Air Force searched the area of Saraf Umra with aircraft on Saturday afternoon. “To no avail,” Sheikh Suleiman said.

The pilot and the translator were abducted on Saturday last week from the premises of a relief organisation in Um Tajok in Kereinik locality. On Monday, a mediation committee agreed with the kidnappers to hand the abductees to the Sudanese military forces the same evening. However, after a group of militiamen brought the abductees to the area east of Saraf Umra’s El Riyad district, the army commander wanted the perpetrators to be handed over as well. The militiamen refused.

One of the mediators told Radio Dabanga on Tuesday that the situation in Saraf Umra became very tense. “Militiamen are massing in El Tadamon, west of Saraf Umra,” he said. El Tadamon is a stronghold of militiamen led by Musa Hilal.

Military reinforcements from Central and West Darfur arrived in the area too. The mediators feared that if they fail to solve the issue with the abductors, the army will certainly clash with the militiamen.

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