A Zambian staff member with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), who was abducted in Nyala, South Darfur, on 6 July, was freed today after almost 20 days in captivity.
The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid) stated in a press release that Felix Ngoma, a Zambian national, is unharmed and in a healthy condition. “He will soon be flown back to his home country via Khartoum.”
The AU-UN Joint Special Representative for Darfur, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, and the Officer-in-Charge of IOM in Sudan, Maysaa Alghribawy, have expressed their appreciation to the Sudanese government, its National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), the Wali (Governor) of South Darfur, and the Zambian government for their “valuable assistance in the safe release of Ngoma”.
Ngoma was abducted on a Sunday at about 5.30 pm when gunmen in a Land Cruiser intercepted him along the road between the Unamid regional headquarters and Nyala city. The abductors forced him out of his vehicle at gunpoint before disappearing with him in their car.
Kidnappings of NGO staff
Last month, an Indian contractor with the peacekeeping mission was freed after 94 days in captivity. He was abducted by armed men in El Fasher, the North Darfur capital. Several days later, two Sudanese employees of the Irish aid group GOAL disappeared while travelling on assignment near Kutum in North Darfur. And in May, Unamid peacekeeper Sgt. Awesu Soleiman, who was abducted while driving a Unamid water tanker in Nyala, South Darfur on 9 March, was freed in the city on Thursday after 54 days in captivity.
File photo: The IOM registers the number of internally displaced people in camps throughout Darfur, such as Zamzam camp in North Darfur state (Unamid)
IOM employee abducted in Nyala, South Darfur (7 July 2014)
NGO staff abducted in Kutum, North Darfur (19 June 2014)
UN contractor released in Darfur after 94 days (13 June 2014)