A Swiss national has been kidnapped in Sudan’s western state of Darfur, George Farago, the spokesman of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs told Sputnik Sunday.

“The Foreign Ministry has learned of the case of a Swiss national’s kidnapping in Sudan (Darfur). Our representatives on the ground are in contact with the local authorities. The clarification of the incident’s circumstances is underway,” Farago said.

The state of Darfur in western Sudan has been engulfed in a decades-long armed conflict between the Sudanese government forces and rebel groups, which began in the 1980s and escalated in 2003, after the rebels attempted to dismiss the government of Sudanese President Omar Bashir. The insurgents blamed the government for oppressing Darfur’s non-Arab population.

In 2007, the UN Security Council endorsed the deployment of a joint mission of the United Nations and the African Union in the region. In June 2017, the UNSC approved the reduction of the peacekeeping mission in Darfur, which, according to certain experts, reflects the reduction of tensions in the region.

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