South Sudan

Machar men abduct 20 aid workers


Southern Sudanese police stand guard outside a polling station in Juba on January 9, 2011

A state cabinet official of the new Northern Liech State government says that 20 humanitarian workers were abducted on Sunday in Nhialdiu.

Lam Tungwar Kueigwong, Information and Youth and Culture Minister of Northern Liech State, one of three successor states of Unity State, blamed “Riek Machar supporters” for the abductions which took place when they briefly overran the town yesterday.

Riek Machar is the chairman of SPLM-IO, the largest rebel group in South Sudan, which controls parts of Unity State.

In a message to Radio Tamazuj, he stated, “A big number of humanitarian workers numbering to 20 were abducted by Riek Machar supporters yesterday after they briefly and surprisingly captured the town of Nhialdiu and took those people with them however the government recaptured the town after few hours later.”

Lam says that “the government is strongly condemning the incident and measures will be taken to make sure those humanitarians abducted yesterday in Nhialdiu are brought back safe and sound and also the state warns those criminals who are causing issues in the state to cease hostilities.”

The minister commented, “This is very bad for the humanitarian situation and the general population of Northern Liech state particularly Nhaildiu.”

Additional information has not been made available by aid agencies or state officials at this time.

Radio Tamazuj

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