- Sudanese authorities are trying to enter into negotiations with the kidnapers of two aid workers abducted by gunmen over the weekend, the government statement has said.
The two, a Canadian and a French national working for an international organisation, Aide Medicale Internationale (AMI) were abducted at Ed el-Fursan in southern Darfur on Saturday night.
The AMI has condemned the kidnapping of members of its team who work daily to improve the health of the local population in the war torn Darfur region.
The group, which has been providing medical relief in Ed el-Fursan since 2004, was spared from Khartoum's decision last month to expel several non-governmental aid organisations from Darfur.
However, as tension increases between President Omar Al Bashir and the international aid agencies and western nations, aid workers have been targeted by armed militias in the region.
In March three international aid workers for medical charity organisation, the Belgian branch of Medicins sans Frontieres (MSF) were kidnapped. They were all released four days later, with no signs of violence or a ransom being paid.
The aid groups have complained of the growing insecurity and antagonism by armed groups in Darfur, following the indictment of President Al Bashir on 4 March by the International Criminal Court. Aid officials said they were worried that the kidnaps might mark the start of a new trend.
Sudan expelled 13 international aid groups from the north of the country in March accusing them of helping the ICC to build up a war crimes case against Sudan's president, an accusation the groups out rightly denied.
The French authorities were alerted and the foreign ministry in Paris set up a crisis response cell to deal with the kidnapping, saying it was acting because the incident involved a French organisation.
Canada's foreign affairs department, on the other hand, said it was seeking information about the kidnapping.
Analysts had warn against the ICC warrant saying it could spark more violence and tension 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 Arab dominated government, accusing it of neglect. More than 2.7 million have been displaced.
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