Upper Nile, South Sudan
Upper Nile, South Sudan

A South Sudanese national who works for the United Nations was "kidnapped" Thursday in Malakal by men in uniform, the head of an association that represents locals who work with the United Nations said.

Bennett Kenyi, president of the UNMISS National Staff Association, told South Sudan in Focus that the worker was waiting at Malakal airport for a U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) flight to Juba when he was taken away by men in uniform.

"They just grabbed him from the line and took him away in a car," Kenyi said.

The U.N. is helping in the effort to find where the worker was taken, he said.

Kenyi said some witnesses claim the men who snatched the worker were "national intelligence security agents" while others said they were members of a pro-government militia.

Kenyi said he has written to the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, "raising a complaint about the ... staff who has been kidnapped at the airport."

Upper Nile Minister of Information, Peter Hoth Kwach, said the state has  launched an investigation into the U.N. worker's disappearance.

"The government as well as U.N. agencies and UNMISS are working hand in hand to make sure that this situation is contained," Kwach said.