Abducted Peacekeeper Released in Western Sudan

January 5, 2011 Updated: January 5, 2011

[xtypo_dropcap]U[/xtypo_dropcap]nited Nations-African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID) on Wednesday welcomed back a staff member kidnapped on Oct. 7, 2010, according to a U.N. press release. Istvan Papp, was in good health and unharmed, read the statement. 

Papp was 1 of 10 UNAMID staff members to be kidnapped over the course of its mission, which started in 2008 in the western Sudan region. The release states he was abducted from his residence in El Fasher. Two fellow UNAMID peacekeepers escaped from the moving vehicle that took Papp away. 

Papp’s release was welcomed by mission members. “We are thankful to have our colleague back with us, safe and sound,” said the joint special representative and head of UNAMID, Ibrahim Gambari.

The mission started after heavy fighting in Darfur killed 300,000 people and displaced 2.7 million.

Southern Sudan will start voting Sunday in a five-day referendum on independence.