Kidnapped ICRC worker freed in Sudan

Dar es Salaam- Tanzania (PANA) -- A staff member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Gauthier Lefèvre, who was abducted in West Darfur, Sudan, on 22 October, 2009, was set free Thursday, the ICRC said .
Lefèvre was released close to Al Geneina, the capital of West Darfur state, after 147 days in captivity and ICRC said he was tired “but appears to be in good health”.
“We are relieved and happy that Gauthier will soon be back with his family and friends, who have been living a painful nightmare for almost five months and cannot wait to see him return home,” said Jordi Raich, head of the ICRC delegation in Sudan.
“Today more than ever, our thoughts are with our colleague and his family,” Raich added.
Lefèvre was abducted a few kilometres north of Al Geneina as he was returning to the town with other ICRC staff from a field trip.
“I would like to express our profound gratitude to all those who have worked so hard in recent months to secure the release of Gauthier,” said Daniel Duvillard, the ICRC’s head of operations for East Africa, in Geneva, Switzerland.
The ICRC began working in Sudan in 1978.
And since 2004, it has been responding to the needs arising from the hostilities in Darfur.
Its priority is to ensure that people affected by armed conflicts are protected in accordance with international humanitarian law and that they receive emergency aid, medical care and any other basic assistance they may require.
The Committe’s operation in Sudan is one of its largest in the world.

18 march 2010 10:24:00

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