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World

Kidnappers seize two German aid workers in Sudan

Two workers from the German Disaster Relief Agency have been kidnapped in the Darfur region of Sudan. The abduction of the men, believed to be German and Dutch, is just the latest in a string of incidents.

A map of Sudan with a German flag superimposed

The relief organization was about to pull out of the region because of a lack of funding

Gunmen kidnapped the two aid workers in a raid on their compound in Nyala, capital of the South Darfur region of Sudan.

Seven men, four of them armed with AK-47 rifles, seized the relief agency workers who were identified as German citizens by Kemal Saiki, communication chief with the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

"They were kidnapped on Tuesday evening from their office in Nyala by armed men in civilian clothes," said Saiki. The kidnappers briefly also held a Sudanese guard.

Withdrawal from region

The men worked for the German development agency Technisches Hilfswerkes (THW), which provides technical assistance to other aid projects and which is days away from pulling out of the region because of a lack of funding.

Darfur has seen a number of kidnappings of foreign development workers since March last year when an international court issued an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes in the region.

Aid agencies and the United Nations set up a humanitarian operation to help millions displaced when fighting between Darfur rebels and government troops backed by militia began in 2003.

Author: Richard Connor (AFP/Reuters)
Editor: Andreas Illmer

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