SUDAN WATCH: Tine, North Darfur: JEM gunmen kidnap 18 AU personnel

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Tine, North Darfur: JEM gunmen kidnap 18 AU personnel

"18 African Union personnel including military observers, civilian police, a U.S. representative and a Justice and Equality Movement (rebel) representative are held hostage today," the acting head of the AU in Sudan, Jean Baptiste Natama, told Reuters Oct 9.

He said they were being held in the Chadian-Sudanese border town of Tine in North Darfur state. A spokesman in the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa said the kidnappers were believed to be members of a dissident faction of Darfur's rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

Update from Reuters Oct 9: "Most have been released but it is not clear how many," said AU spokesman Noureddine Mezni. He said earlier reports that 16 of the 18 people were being freed were not yet confirmed.

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