Sudanese army forces have been combing the area of Saraf Umra in North Darfur today in search of the abducted Ukrainian pilot and his Sudanese interpreter. The search is into its second consecutive day.
The two were abducted in Kereinik locality in West Darfur nine days ago. They were taken across the West-North Darfur border to the area east of Saraf Umra.
An agreement with the kidnappers, brokered by a mediation team, to hand the two to the military garrison of Saraf Umra on Wednesday, failed. On Saturday, aircraft of the Sudanese Air Force joined the search on the ground.
A listener told Radio Dabanga from Saraf Umra that the army arrested two militia leaders during their search campaign this (Monday) morning. “Many others fled to the capitals of Central and West Darfur. Omda Mohamed Kajam, Omda Ahmed Khater, and Omda Hamid Maderi took refuge in El Wehda district in Zalingei, while Omda Mahmoud Um Khalafo and others fled to El Geneina.”
The area west of the town is a stronghold of militiamen led by former Janjaweed leader Musa Hilal.
The source added that the army forces have closed all access points to Saraf Umra locality.