Turkish nationals kidnapped in Darfur in Sudan

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Two Turkish citizens, identified as engineers working for a Turkish power company, and their Sudanese driver were kidnapped in Darfur, Sudan on Tuesday, Sudanese media reported. Darfur Governor Minni Arko Minawi tweeted that he “regretted” the kidnapping and called on the unknown perpetrators to return them to safety.

Diplomatic sources told the Anadolu Agency (AA) that the Turks were returning home from their work in al-Fashir in northern Darfur when they were arrested by unknown gunmen. The car was taken to another location and the driver was beaten by gunmen. The driver was then released and treated at an injury hospital. The driver told authorities the kidnappers had not demanded a ransom and had no “problems” with the Turks, but would keep them hostage “until the perpetrators of the attacks on the tribes were captured” .

A company official speaking to the Daily Sabah also confirmed that the incident is not related to the company’s business operations but rather to internal clashes in the region.

Darfur is still recovering from a civil war that erupted in 2003, while clashes between tribes are rampant. At least 48 people were killed in tribal clashes over the weekend. Sudan, on the whole, faces uncertainty after a military coup in October. Protests against the coup have killed dozens of people since then.

Local authorities had previously announced that four people were killed and three others wounded in al-Fasher in attacks by unknown shooters. An angry crowd gathered outside the governorate to demand the capture of the perpetrators, as authorities later announced that a suspect had been arrested.

Turkey and Sudan enjoy close economic ties, with a bilateral trade volume of $ 480 million as of 2020, while $ 2 billion is set as a target for the next five years. The African country is home to a large number of Turkish companies in several sectors, while Turkey’s total investment in Sudan stands at $ 314 million. The two countries recently announced that they have reached an agreement to increase Sudan’s power generation through power generation vessels operated by Turkish companies in the Red Sea.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Khartoum Embassy were working with Sudanese authorities to secure the release of the Turks, AA reported.

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