China sends team to Sudan to help find 2 missing oil workers: Kidnappers are from Arab Misseriya tribe and are associated with JEM terrorist group
China Sends Team to Sudan to Help Find Two Missing Oil Workers
Thursday, 30 October 2008 (Bloomberg) report by Dune Lawrence and Heba Aly - excerpt:
China sent a team of government officials to Sudan to help to find two oil workers who went missing after the Sudanese government attempted to rescue them and seven others from kidnappers, the foreign ministry said.- - -
Four employees of China National Petroleum Corp. were killed during the rescue attempt and three others were injured. Officials from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Commerce, and CNPC left for Sudan today, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said told reporters in Beijing.
"The kidnappers hurt the workers during a rescue operation by the Sudan government," Jiang said.
The Sudanese authorities have denied that they carried out a rescue attempt of the hostages, who were abducted on Oct. 18 while working in South Kordofan, bordering the Darfur region and straddling the contested border between north and south Sudan.
The kidnappers killed the oil workers after they thought a government plane that was resupplying troops in the area was preparing to attack them, Ali Yousif, director general of protocol at the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, said in a telephone interview yesterday in Khartoum, the capital.
"There was a plane bringing food and water to the troops in that area, who were surrounding the kidnappers from very far," Yousif said. "When they saw the plane, they thought it was coming to attack them, so they killed the hostages and ran away."
The government has blamed the rebel Justice and Equality Movement for the abductions. JEM said it wasn't involved. Both China and Sudan have called the incident a "terrorist" act.
JEM has repeatedly accused China of supporting Sudan's military actions in Darfur through arms sales and investment in the oil industry, the third biggest in sub-Saharan Africa. China National Petroleum is the nation's top oil producer.
Will killing of oil workers harden China's Darfur policy?
Wednesday, 29 October 2008 (CSM) report by Heba Aly, Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor and Scott Baldauf, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor - excerpt:
Mukhtar Babu El-Nimer, chief of the Arab Misseriya tribe in the Muglad region of South Kordofan, said the kidnappers were of his tribe, but associated with the JEM rebel group.- - -
"They want development. This area has no development and the oil is pouring out of it. The government has done nothing for them," he said.
Oil workers have been targeted in the region before. In May, the same Misseriya tribe kidnapped four Indian oil workers. All but one escaped or were released.
Thursday, 30 October 2008 (Sudan Watch) Chinese hostages in Abyei, Kordofan: 4 dead, 3 injured, 2 missing after rescue attempt by Chinese and GOS forces
For further reports, click on Abyei label here below.