U.N. staffer missing from Syrian border

A United Nations staffer who went missing along the Syria-Israel border is a Canadian legal adviser to the commander of the U.N. mission on the Golan Heights, according to a source who says he met with the staffer.

Media reports have identified the missing man as a legal adviser to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force. The U.N. has confirmed a member is missing from the peacekeeping force.

The source familiar with the missing staff member said he had met with the man, whom he identified as Carl Campeau, in Israel recently and that Campeau is a Canadian civilian staffer unaffiliated with the Canadian government. A correspondent with the Sunday Times of London in Damascus reported on Twitter that Campeau was kidnapped six days earlier by what sources said were “criminal gangs.”

The peacekeeping mission has operated on the border between Syria and the Golan Heights since 1974, following the Yom Kippur War in 1973. The Canadians pulled out in 2006 and have just three officers there now.

The U.N. force has approximately 1,150 soldiers from Austria, Croatia, India, Japan and the Philippines. — jta