Six Bulgarian nationals working for a company contracted by the United Nations World Food Programme have been captured by rebels in the south of Sudan, Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said on January 28.
The helicopter, which had three company employees and a three-person crew, made a forced landing near the town of Kadugli in southern Sudan while carrying out a scheduled flight between Rumbek in South Sudan and Khartoum in Sudan on January 26, the ministry said. A military aircraft sent by Sudanese authorities located the helicopter and found no signs of visible damage, the statement said.
The six Bulgarians are being held by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North rebel group that is fighting government forces in the area, the Foreign Ministry said. The statement quoted the director of the Bulgarian company saying that the six abductees were “in a safe place and feeling well”.
UN World Food Programme representatives were in contact with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, the ministry said, but gave no further details about any demands made by the rebel group. The Foreign Ministry said it was working with the UN Secretary-General’s office and other UN agencies to secure the release of the Bulgarian nationals.
(Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: mfa.bg)