Calls continue for release of kidnapped SA peacekeepers
Negotiations were continuing to secure the release of four South African peacekeepers who were abducted in Sudan, a spokesperson for the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid) said on Friday.
“Negotiations for their release remain [ongoing] behind the scenes. Unamid’s leadership continues to call for the immediate and unconditional release of our peacekeepers,” said spokesperson Chris Cycmanick.
The abduction of the four was officially confirmed by Unamid earlier this month.
The unarmed police advisers’ last movement was reported at 4pm on April 11 when they left Nyala in South Darfur on a 7km journey back to their private quarters, Unamid said at the time.
On April 16, it was reported that the four were in good health and authorities were confident that they would be released.
The Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency reported that Jibril Bukhari Abbas, the head of a Darfur group calling itself the People’s Democratic Struggle Movement, said one of its members had carried out the kidnapping but without instructions from the group.
The group told the agency that it wanted one billion Sudanese pounds ($400 000) but that this was not “most important”.
“We want to show the international community that security conditions in Darfur do not allow for elections.”
The kidnapping came as Sudan held its first competitive election in more than two decades, the report said.—Sapa.