A UN staffer held hostage in Darfur said yesterday that he fears for his safety. The 55-year old Hungarian man is a civilian employee of the peacekeeping mission that the United Nations runs jointly with the African Union, known as UNAMID.
The Hungarian peacekeeper was abducted from his residence on Thursday in the state capital of North Darfur. When Radio Dabanga succeeded in contacting the man he was near to weeping, he said in a telephone interview. He said that the phone call was his first contact with the outside world. He had talked to neither his family nor to UNAMID. He appealed to convey his message to UNAMID headquarters.
The hostage, who pronounced his name as ‘Ish Tuan Paap’, said that he cannot recognize the location of where he is being held. However, he added that he is being kept in an area like a camp, attended by more than 100 personnel in military uniform.
He said that he thought the gunmen abducted him because of the Mawasir market affair – a Ponzi scheme for which ruling party figures have been widely blamed, stoking unrest in El Fasher. The UN hostage supposed that the gunmen want UNAMID to intervene to solve the problem.
He was speaking calmly but he concluded that he has fears that he might be killed or they might attack him. He was also concerned that he might catch malaria, a mosquito-borne disease already afflicting most of his captors.
He speaks English, a bit of French and some words and phrases in Arabic.