Probe under way into abduction of two UNAfrican Union blue helmets in

14 August 2010An investigation is underway into the abduction of two police advisors serving with the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in the strife-torn Darfur region of Sudan who were seized early Saturday. The incident happened at approximately 7:55 this morning in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, according to a news release issued by the mission, known as UNAMID.The two officers, who had been walking to a UNAMID transport dispatch point, were 100 metres from their residence in the city’s Almatar area when they were blocked by three individuals in a 4×4 vehicle. “The perpetrators seized the peacekeepers at gunpoint and sped off,” stated the mission. An investigation into the incident is underway by Government authorities and UNAMID, which has been in place since the start of 2008 to protect civilians and quell the violence in Darfur, where nearly seven years of fighting has killed at least 300,000 people and driven 2.7 million others from their homes.Today’s incident is the latest in a series of attacks against UNAMID personnel in recent months, including the ambush last month of peacekeepers on patrol in West Darfur that resulted in injuries to seven blue helmets, as well as another ambush in June in the same region that killed three soldiers and seriously wounded a fourth.The attack also comes amid recent violence and ongoing tensions at the Kalma camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Darfur following the latest round of peace talks in the Qatari capital, Doha, aimed at bringing an end to the Darfur conflict, with some of the camp’s residents saying they were not fully represented. read more