Home | News    Thursday 15 January 2009

Six abducted women rescued outside Darfur IDP camp


January 14, 2009 (EL FASHER) – Six women were rescued from kidnappers outside Hassa Hissa Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp in West Darfur, announced the peacekeeping mission in the area, UNAMID.

The six women had been abducted outside the camp while collecting firewood in the fields, according to a report that reached UNAMID Sector West on Tuesday. UNAMID dispatched a team of protection force personnel, police and military observers to the scene.

“The kidnappers released the women when they saw UNAMID team members approaching them,” said a statement from the mission Wednesday. There are approximately 4,000 UNAMID personnel in Sector West.

Hassa Hissa is one of five refugee camps surrounding Zalingei housing 120,000 people. Armed militiamen attacked the camp last month, destroying equipment around five water pumps. Days later, militiamen killed the local chief Musa Abakr Posh in his home, according to the man’s son.

According to a report released last month by the Darfur Consortium, an umbrella group of rights organisations, thousands of Darfuris have been captured for unpaid labour, sex slavery or forced marriages, sometimes in other parts of Sudan.

It is to be remembered that slave-taking practiced during Sudan’s earlier civil wars, including the 1983-2005 North-South war, has left 35,000 abductees still away from their homes, according to an official from the Centre for the Eradication of the Abduction of Women and Children.

By May 2003, the Rift Valley Institute had compiled a database of approximately 10,000 individual records of missing persons.

The UN-African Union hybrid peacekeeping operation is tasked with protecting civilians in Darfur, an area roughly the size of France. The UNAMID Force Commander, General Martin Luther Agwai, today paid an operational visit to Zalingei in Sector West and Kabkabiya in Sector North


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