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Sudanese authorities release detained staff member with UN-AU force

In this April 2010 photo, a UNAMID peacekeeper (front, right) who had been abducted, returns to Nyala, Sudan on her release
In this April 2010 photo, a UNAMID peacekeeper (front, right) who had been abducted, returns to Nyala, Sudan on her release

Sudanese authorities release detained staff member with UN-AU force

An employee with the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping operation in Darfur (UNAMID) has been released today from detention, almost three months after he was arrested by Sudanese security forces.

Idriss Abdelrahman, a national staff member, was released this afternoon in the South Darfur state capital of Nyala, according to a press release issued by the peacekeeping force.

Prosecutors informed UNAMID yesterday that charges against Mr. Abdelrahman – who was arrested on 27 April – had been dropped because of a lack of evidence.

UNAMID had repeatedly pressed for the release of Mr. Abdelrahman, noting that his arrest contravened the Status of Forces Agreement between the mission and the Sudanese Government.

UN staff have functional immunity, which gives them protection from charges that may be levelled against them for activities related to their official duties.

Another national staff member, Hawa Abdalla Mohamed, was released last week, two months after she was arrested at a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in North Darfur.

The Darfur region in western Sudan has been beset by fighting and large-scale displacement since 2003, when rebels took up arms against Government forces and allied militiamen. UNAMID has been in place since the start of 2008.