Caritas partners kidnapped in Darfur

Three staff working for Caritas Australia partner, Sudan Social Development Organisation (SUDO), have been kidnapped in Darfur, Sudan.

CLICK HEREIndependent Catholic News reports that they were hijacked at gunpoint while visiting the Zam Zam camp in El Fasher, North Darfur on 29 September. It is thought they were taken by members of a local militia group.

SUDO staff were told of the hijacking immediately by residents of the camp but have not been able to locate their staff or the hijackers. SUDO have been working in Darfur, delivering health and sanitation facilities to people living in camps across the region.

This is one of many incidents that have recently taken place in Darfur as the security situation in the region continues to worsen.

During the past week, in West Darfur, attacks in Gosmeina, have left 29 civilians dead and in Aro Sharow, a camp for internal refugees, more than 80 makeshift shelters were burnt down following an attack by around 250 armed militia on horses and camels.

Amelia Bookstein, conflict policy analyst of Caritas UK partner CAFOD, said: "CAFOD is extremely concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Darfur and the risk this poses both to the people of Darfur and to our work in the region."

The agency has sent out an open letter to all parties involved in the Abuja peace talks including the Government of Sudan, the rebel groups and the United Nations representatives calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the three SUDO staff.

CAFOD partners kidnapped in Darfur (Independent Catholic News 4/10/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
ACT/Caritas Darfur Emergency Response | Banditry disrupting aid deliveries

Aid workers attacked in Darfur (CathNews 26/8/05)

Darfur development workers kidnapped as situation worsens (Ekklesia 30/9/05)
Caritas Looks Long-Term in Post-Tsunami Work (Caritas Internationalis 30/9/05)
Volcanic Eruption in El Salvador Forces Mass Evacuation (Caritas Internationalis 10/3/05)

5 Oct 2005