Unamid recovers ambushed NGO staff in North Darfur

The joint Au-UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur reports that South African peacekeepers rescued a NGO employee three weeks ago, in North Darfur.

Unamid, the joint African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur, released a press statement on Friday in which it reports that South African peacekeepers have rescued a NGO employee three weeks ago, in North Darfur.

As the statement reads, on 5 June, Unamid peacekeepers from South Africa rescued the driver of a World Food Programme (WFP) truck which was ambushed by unknown armed men. He was aboard a gun-mounted vehicle, 55 km south-west of the mission’s team site in Kutum, North Darfur, a day earlier.

The truck was part of a Unamid and WFP convoy which traveled in two groups. One of the groups pursued the assailants immediately but was unable to apprehend them at the time. An by of Unamid troops on the ground ensured that both the driver and the vehicle were recovered on 5 June. Some of the truck’s contents were robbed.

The WFP expressed its gratitude to the Unamid leadership and commended the South African troops who executed the search-and-rescue operation.

Unamid and the Sudanese government will investigate the incident, the statement concludes.

The publication of the statement comes in the wake of media reports on 16 June that claimed that Sudanese troops held South African peacekeepers in Darfur hostage so Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir could leave South Africa on 15 June, to avoid being arrested to face genocide charges. However, the United Nations and the South African National Defence Force fiercely denied these reports.