Home | News    Friday 21 November 2003

Sudanese rebels reportedly deny abducting aid workers

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By Al-Sharq al-Awsat daily newspaper (UK)

LONDON, Nov. 21, 2003 — The [rebel] SLM/A [Sudan Liberation Movement/Army], which operates in Darfur [western Sudan] against the government, has denied abducting five aid workers [from Swiss NGO Medair operating in western Darfur], during a food distribution operation in western Darfur.

SLM/A Secretary-General Mani Arkoi Minawi, told [London based newspaper] Al-Sharq al-Awsat : "Allegations of abducting aid workers are false", pointing out that he was against the idea of leading a war against other parties.

He added that the SLM/A had already called for opening of safe corridors to deliver humanitarian aid. He added:" We are striving to help them [aid workers], not to abduct them."

On Tuesday [18 November], the Swiss NGO Medair reported that four Medair’s national staff and one government worker, had gone missing during a mission of food delivery in Kolbus area [western Darfur] [Passage omitted].

In a statement to [Khartoum-based newspaper] Al-Ra’y al-Amm, yesterday, the humanitarian aid commissioner, Salaf al-Din Salih, said the SLM/A had abducted five aid workers on 13 November in Kolbus.[Passage omitted]

The [Khartoum-based newspaper] Al-Sahafah, reported yesterday the [rebel] JEM [Justice and Equality Movement, fighting to end Darfur region’s economic neglect by Khartoum], was now detaining the five and would release them in Chad.

BBC Monitoring Newsfile

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