World Bulletin / News Desk
A peacekeeper of the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) kidnapped two months ago in Sudan's restive Darfur region has been freed safely, the mission said on Thursday.
"Sergeant, Awesu Soleiman who had been abducted in Nyala, South Darfur, on 09 March 14, was freed today in Nyala after 54 days in captivity," the UNAMID said in a statement.
According to the release, Soleiman was abducted while driving a UNAMID water truck from Dereigecamp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) to UNAMID Super Camp in Nyala.
The UNAMID Joint Special Representative for Darfur Mohamed Ibn Chambas expressed the mission’s gratitude to the governments of Sudan and Nigeria for their "valuable assistance" in securing the peacekeeper's safe release.
The statement gave no further details on the circumstances of Soleiman's release or who was behind his kidnapping.
Darfur has been ravaged by a deadly conflict since three rebel groups took up arms against the Khartoum government in 2003.
The U.N., which has described the situation in Darfur as one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, has said that an estimated 300,000 people had been killed in the conflict and some 1.8 million displaced.
The Sudanese government, however, insists that the death toll does not exceed 10,000 people.
The Darfur conflict prompted in 2009 an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on a number of charges including genocide committed by government forces and allied militias.
With over 23,000 military and civilian personnel, UNAMID currently represents the world's largest UN peacekeeping mission.
For the past five years, the mission lost 60 personnel in attacks that had been usually blamed on unidentified gunmen.
Chambas has already described 2013 as a "sad year" for Darfur, citing a steep escalation of tribal conflicts and clashes between government forces and rebels.Last Mod: 02 Mayıs 2014, 09:53