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Sudan-Chad forces move in as abducted Frenchman sighted in West Darfur

March 29 - 2017 WEST DARFUR
Militiamen in Darfur (File photo)
Militiamen in Darfur (File photo)

A French national kidnapped by Sudanese militiamen from Goz Beida, south of Abeche in Chad last week has been sighted in West Darfur. A joint Sudanese-Chadian force has surrounded the area.

Callers from the Habila area told Radio Dabanga that the French hostage has been seen with militia leader Yousif Ahmed Ali Guttiya, nicknamed Kabro, accompanied by other five men riding motorcycles.

“They passed through the Duku Mountains of Habila to the Selik Mountains northeast of Foro Baranga,” the witnesses told this station.

They said a Sudanese-Chadian joint force with about 40 vehicles has moved to the mountains and besieged them since Saturday.

On Thursday, Chadian Security Minister, Ahmed Mohamed, announced that a French hostage was kidnapped from Goz Beida, south of Abeche. “Sudan, Chad and French intelligence forces are coordinating efforts to find the French national”, said Sudan’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday.

A source from El Geneina told Radio Dabanga that Kabro was also the one who kidnapped three UNHCR staff (two foreigners and a Sudanese) from El Geneina last year.

The source said that Kabro, who signed a peace agreement with the government of West Darfur in 2013 after splitting with his group, is behind out most of the killings, theft and kidnappings in the region, this along with the attacks on the government sites in West and Central Darfur.

The Commissioner of the Chadian area Taisi, near the border with Central Darfur, was attacked by Sudanese militiamen on Friday. Two of his bodyguards were killed. The Commissioner moved with his security force into Sudanese territory in reaction to the disarmament of Chadian policemen by Sudanese militants, a source in the area reported.

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