See also:
» 09.02.2010 - ICC drops charges against a Darfurian rebel
» 04.02.2010 - Additional genocide charge for al-Bashir
» 07.12.2009 - UN raises concern on deteriorating security in Darfur
» 07.12.2009 - Kagame demands explanation on killed peace keepers
» 23.11.2009 - Former rebels hailed for signing end to use of child soldiers
» 18.11.2009 - Security Council calls for protection of civilians
» 11.11.2009 - ICRC appeals for release of two kidnapped staff
» 29.10.2009 - Darfurian rebel died in detention, AI argues

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Aid workers’ kidnapers demand ransom

afrol News, 13 March - The Sudanese kidnappers of three employees working for medical charity organisation, Medicins sans Frontieres (MSF) are demanding ransom for the release of the foreign aid workers.

The aid workers were taken hostage by a group of armed men in the Sudan’s war torn Darfur region Wednesday night.

North Darfur governor Osman Kebir said the kidnappers had demanded a financial ransom without specifying the money needed, saying they have promised not to engage in any confrontation with the government forces.

"Negotiations with the abductors are progressing well and could result in the release of the victims soon," Mr Kebir said.

A French, a Canadian and an Italian were taken hostage at gunpoint from the MSF Belgium office at Saraf Umra, about 230 kilometers west of the North Darfur capital El Fasher with two Sudanese who were later released by the kidnapers.

The aid workers' abduction comes as tension is on the rise in Sudan between the government and international aid workers, who President Omar Al- Bashir had accused of feeding the International Criminal Court false accounts on Darfur which led to his indictment. The president is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The kidnappings also come after Sudan ordered the expulsion of 13 aid groups, including the French and Dutch chapters of MSF, earlier this month in retaliation for the warrant of arrest issued by the ICC on 4 March.

Some analysts had said the ICC warrant could spark more violence in Darfur, where peacekeepers and civilians have been caught in the middle of the conflict. But the international court went ahead to issue the warrant.

The United Nations said about 300,000 people have died in Darfur since 2003 when Darfuris took up arms against the government, complaining of neglect by the Arab-dominated Khartoum government. More than 2.7 million have been displaced.

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