British aid worker shot during Darfur robbery

22nd July 2009, Comments 0 comments

During an armed raid on Swiss aid group Medair, staff was injured and equipment was stolen.

Khartoum -- A British man working for a Swiss aid group was shot and wounded during an armed raid on his compound in Sudan's war-ravaged Darfur region, police and the charity said on Tuesday.

The aid group, Medair, said that an international staff member was "slightly injured by shrapnel when shots were fired during an armed raid on a Medair compound in El-Geneina in West Darfur in the early hours of Sunday."

A police official said the victim was a 40-year-old British man who was shot in the leg.

Medair said shots were fired "apparently in an attempt to force entry to a building. The other staff present were shaken but unharmed, although important communications and IT equipment were stolen."

The worker was being treated at a United Nations medical facility and a full recovery is expected, Medair said in a statement, adding that all affected "relocatable" staff were temporarily withdrawn to Khartoum.

Attacks on aid workers in Darfur have increased since the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant in March for Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir for alleged war crimes there.

Two aid workers, an Irish and a Ugandan woman, are still being held after being snatched earlier in July in the North Darfur city of Kutum, the third such kidnapping since March.

Following the arrest warrant for Beshir, Sudan expelled 13 foreign aid agencies from Darfur -- a decision vehemently criticised by the United Nations. Khartoum later allowed some Western relief bodies in again.

The Darfur conflict erupted in February 2003 when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government and its militia allies.

The United Nations says up to 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million have fled their homes since the conflict broke out six. Sudan puts the death toll at 10,000.

AFP / Expatica

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