The United Nations failed to announce the kidnapping of three U.N.-contracted air crew members in Darfur, Sudan, during the organization’s Jan. 13 press briefing in New York, a nonprofit investigative organization observes, noting that it could signal a blackout on humanitarian information in the conflict-afflicted region.
Inner Press City says that while the U.N. has traditionally been quick to announce injuries or kidnapping cases involving U.N. humanitarian contractors or peacekeepers, the abduction of the three Bulgarian nationals was only brought up during the Jan. 13 meeting when U.N. spokesperson Martin Nesirky was asked about it.
>> 3 UN Air Staff Abducted in Darfur
“This came days after a coalition of human rights groups accused the UN in Darfur, particularly the UNAMID mission under Ibrahim Gambari, of imposing a ‘humanitarian information blackout’ which benefits the Omar al Bashir government of Sudan,” Inner Press City says.
“The groups appear to be right, not only as to the UN stopping or delaying response to and reporting of attacks on civilians in Darfur, but even attacks on and kidnappings of UN affiliated personnel. How else to explain the UN’s failure to mention the kidnapping of the three Bulgarians, and to follow through and name the guilty parties – allegedly Bashir connected and even funded tribes – in previous Darfur kidnappings?” it adds.