04/19/2014 18:14 GMT
KHARTOUM, April 19, 2014 (AFP) – Gunmen have kidnapped three workers including a Chinese and an Algerian from an oilfield in Sudan’s West Kordofan province, the army said Saturday.
“Armed men yesterday (Friday) attacked the Kanar field in West Kordofan and abducted three workers — a Sudanese, a Chinese and an Algerian,” spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad told AFP.
He added that three attackers were killed in a firefight with guards at the site.
No further details were immediately available about the kidnapping, which has not been claimed by any group.
West Kordofan borders the province of South Kordofan where Sudanese government forces have been battling rebels for nearly three years.
The clashes in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states with fighters of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) have displaced or severely affected 1.1 million people, the United Nations says.
West Kordofan also borders Sudan’s western region of Darfur, where the army and allied tribes have since 2003 battled rebels demanding an end to the region’s economic marginalisation and power sharing with the Khartoum government.
China is the main investor in Sudan’s oil sector, which is vital to the nation’s economy.
Last week, President Omar al-Bashir put the country’s output at 124,000 barrels per day.
Heavy fighting in Bentiu, Unity State, on 14-15 April caused thousands of people to flee to the UN base. Civilians were reportedly targeted during the violence.
An attack by armed youth on the UN base in Bor on 17 April killed dozens of civilians and injured many more.
The number of people displaced within South Sudan rose to 927,000, with the highest increase in Upper Nile State.
Multi-sector rapid response has reached an estimated 200,000 people in remote locations in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states in the past week. A multi-sector response to about 30,000 displaced people started in Kodok.
The sheikhs of camp El Salam in Bielel locality, South Darfur, have demanded urgent solutions to the problems the newly internally displaced people are facing, from a number of humanitarian organisations during a meeting this week.
Sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabeldiya told Radio Dabanga that the number of newly displaced people in the camp who have not been registered amounts to 3,117. 3,200 newly displaced have been registered earlier by the Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC).
During a meeting with humanitarian organisations including the UN Humanitarian Office (OCHA), Unicef, and the HAC, the sheikh discussed the people’s water, food, medical treatment, education, and insecurity issues. “The organisations promised during the meeting to help and find treatments for these problems in El Salam camp,” Tabeldiya said.
On 13 April, Tabeldiya told Radio Dabanga that the newly displaced people had received food only once. The insecurity in the camp has grown after government-backed militiamen robbed more than 120 camp residents on the Nyala-El Salam road on 30 March. The World Food Programme had already suspended its activities in the beginning of last January because of the “rampant insecurity” in El Salam.
About 18,000 villagers from the area south-east of Nyala have arrived at El Salam and Kalma in South Darfur in the beginning of March this year. They fled wide-scale attacks by Sudanese militia forces (Rapid Support Forces) on more than 35 villages several days before.
Re-planning West Darfur camp
In West Darfur, the internally displaced people of Saraf Jidad camp, located west of Sirba city, have rejected the efforts of the state’s Ministry of Urban Planning to re-plan the camp.
The spokesman of the Sirba camps told Radio Dabanga that the Executive Director and the Deputy Commissioner of Sirba locality, Abdul Rahman Abdul Karim, visited Saraf Jidad on Wednesday and told the displaced people about their desire to re-plan the camp.
The “more than 25,000 displaced”, according to the camp’s spokesman, find there is no need for that at this particular time. “The purpose is to dismantle the camp for the implementation of the schemes of the National Congress Party’s government.”
The displaced people affirmed they will leave the camp in the event that the war stops and security and stability are maintained, but not now.
In the beginning of January this year, the government’s HAC of the Sirba locality told the sheikhs of Sirba camps that the locality does not recognise the camps any longer. “The camps have become quasi-towns, while the residents are all farmers,” the commission told the sheikhs.