(By Radio Dabanga)
Four peacekeepers with the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force in South- Darfur are missing. They disappeared Sunday afternoon after leaving the state capital Nyala. The UNAMID peacekeeping mission has still not found any trace of them, according to UNAMID spokesman Nouredine al Mezni. It is the second time this year that peacekeepers have been abducted in that area. Two peacekeepers were taken as hostages for several months not far outside the city. The government wanted to forcefully rescue them, but UNAMID weanted to negotiate with the kidnappers. Finally UNAMID said the two were able to flee the house, but the exact circumstances of their escape were never revealed. UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari said in a statement: “There has been no sighting of our staff and we are deeply concerned for their well-being.” Gambari is trying to contact the Sudanese authorities over the issue of the missing peacekeepers. Last week the European Union decided not to sent international election monitors to the region, being afraid of kidnappers and other violence.
UPDATE, 13 April 2010: UNAMID sources attribute the disappearance to a kidnapping carried out by 10 gunmen while the peacekeepers were returning from a work site to their quarters near Nyala.