GENEVA, (Reuters) – A Sudanese national working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who was abducted in Sudan’s Darfur region by an armed group two weeks ago, is dead, the humanitarian agency said on Wednesday.
The Swiss-based agency said that it had not yet recovered the body of the 31-year-old man, who was not named, nor had it any details of how he was killed.
He was the first ICRC staff member to die in Darfur, where tens of thousands of people have been killed and 2.5 million forced from their homes since a revolt began in early 2003.
“The ICRC is shocked by his death, which comes amid a deterioration in security conditions in Darfur that has claimed the lives of other humanitarian workers in recent weeks,” the agency said in a statement.
The man was abducted east of the Jebel Marra mountains in north Darfur on Aug. 16 after an ICRC team was stopped by an armed group — also not identified in the statement.
The team had been distributing food and the man was forced to drive one of two vehicles stolen in the attack, the agency said.
Eleven aid workers have been killed in rising violence since a May peace deal between the Sudanese government and one of three rebel groups active in the vast region the size of France.
Agencies involved in the world’s largest humanitarian operation complain that fighting between rebel factions as well as with government forces, and increased banditry, has left huge swathes of land out of reach.