|Humanitarian and Advocacy Information
|| DARFUR ARCHIVES|
|Click here to see my photo journal from Central African Republic and Chad|
|Read "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin|
|View a timeline of events in the humanitarian crisis in Darfur|
|December 16, 2009|
NDJAMENA, Dec 16, 2009 (AFP) - Brazen kidnapping raids targeting aid workers in Chad and Darfur have set UN officials and aid groups on edge, fuelling fears of a violent new trend that could hobble relief work in the lawless area.
Four French aid workers, including two Red Cross employees, have been abducted since October in a string of attacks across a vast triangle straddling eastern Chad, Sudan's war-torn Darfur and the Central African Republic.
Darfur and the wider region have been rocked by dozens of carjackings and attacks on aid groups in 2009, but the latest abduction, which took place deep inside an aid workers' compound in Birao in the CAR, marked a turning point.
"The Birao hostage-taking caught everyone off guard. No one thought there could be a raid like this one," said Victor Angelo, special representative for the UN secretary general in charge of MINURCAT, the 5,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission to Chad and CAR.
"It was a well planned raid by people who knew exactly where to find the workers," Angelo said.