AMMAN — A Public Security Department (PSD) delegation which left for Darfur a few days ago to help investigate the disappearance of two Jordanian peacekeepers on Thursday said that the search for them was still ongoing.
The peacekeepers from the African Union-UN mission (UNAMID) in the Darfur region of western Sudan went missing in the town of Kabkabiya on August 20, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
The two Jordanians were with a team of peacekeepers who went to buy supplies for their camp from a market in Kabkabiya near the North Darfur state capital Al Fashir and were reported missing when they failed to rendezvous with their colleagues after two hours.
PSD Deputy Director Major General Mohammad Raqqad, who is heading the delegation, said the investigation had revealed that they were kidnapped by a group of outlaws, but for financial, not ideological, reasons, according to Petra.
The perpetrators do not belong to any armed or organised gangs, Raqqad said, noting that the Jordanian delegation received assurances from UN officials and Sudanese security bodies in this regard.
He expressed hope that the peacekeepers would be released soon, saying that the search team was working around the clock to find them.
Over the past few days, the Jordanian delegation held several meetings with the UN crisis management team formed to follow up on the incident. They also met with Sudanese officials and community representatives to find out as much as possible about the incident in order to assist in the search.
Jordanian peacekeepers are stationed in several parts of the world, mainly in Congo, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and Haiti.
UNAMID is the world’s largest peacekeeping operation, with almost 17,000 troops and 5,000 police whose core mandate is to protect civilians in Darfur where rebels drawn from black African tribes rose up against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government in 2003.
The conflict has killed at least 300,000 people, according to UN estimates. The government says 10,000 have died.