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July 6, 11

NEWS / Joint UN-African Union mission in Darfur presses for release of detained staff

6 July 2011 –
The head of the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur has once again called for the immediate release of two national staff members who have been detained by the Sudanese authorities for more than two months.

The mission (UNAMID) said it will continue to engage the authorities regarding the release of Idris Abdelrahman and Hawa Abdalla, who are both reported to be doing well.

“We will do everything to secure their release,” stressed Ibrahim Gambari, the Joint Special Representative and head of UNAMID.

All UN staff have functional immunity – protection from charges that might be levelled against them for activities related to their official duties.

Mr. Gambari has previously stated that the arrest of the two national staff contravened the Status of Forces Agreement between UNAMID and the Government of Sudan.

Darfur has been wracked by conflict and large-scale displacement since fighting first erupted between rebels, Government forces and allied militiamen in 2003. An estimated 300,000 people have been killed and as many as 2.7 million others displaced.




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