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Darfur: UN-African Union Mission makes contact with four abducted peacekeepers

16 April 2010 – The joint African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) established contact today with four of its peacekeepers who were abducted five days ago in the western Sudanese region.

“We spoke to our staff today by phone,” UNAMID Deputy Joint Special Representative Mohamed Yonis said. “They reported to be unharmed. We are calling for the immediate and unconditional release of our peacekeepers.”

The unarmed South African police advisors, two women and two men, were abducted at approximately 4 p.m. on 11 April after departing from their team site in Nyala, South Darfur state, on a 7-kilometre journey back to their private quarters.

The Mission has mobilized its resources in the area and is working in close cooperation with the Sudanese Government and local authorities to secure the peacekeepers’ release. It said it would issue no further statement on the incident until a resolution has been reached.

UNAMID, with nearly 22,000 uniformed personnel, was set up at the beginning of 2008 to help end a seven-year conflict between the Government and rebels that has killed at least 300,000 people and driven 2.7 million others from their homes.

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