Goal's John O'Shea: 8 gunmen kidnapped two Goal aid workers in Kutum, nr El Fasher, Darfur, W. Sudan
Goal Aid Workers Held in Darfur
(Dublin) – Negotiations are continuing to try and secure the release of two aid workers kidnapped last Friday in Kutum, 100 kilometers from El Fasher. The two women work for Goal, the Irish aid organization.Note from Sudan Watch Ed: I am always wary and unsure of publicising news of kidnappings, hostage taking, etc., incase publicity is the objective of the perpetrators and encourages other hostage takers. I have decided to file this news story here today for the record as it contains news from a very good source, namely Goal's chief John O'Shea, who is working in the best interests of the kidnapped aid workers. Best of luck to all involved.
According to the chief executive of Goal, John O’Shea, 8 heavily-armed men entered the organization's compound and kidnapped the two aid workers, Hilda Kawuki from Uganda and Sharon Commins from Ireland.
[John O’Shea]: “The ladies were kidnapped last Friday night from our compound. Along with them was one of our guards. He was released by the captors, 8 of whom had entered our compound heavily armed. He is being interrogated and interviewed as we speak. However, there is no indication yet which group these eight people are from. There is an Irish delegation on the ground, including a number of people who are well-equipped to deal with kidnappers and they are having discussions with Sudanese officials, army people, and police in El Fasher this morning. We are hoping that this meeting will provide some indication as to the identity of the kidnappers.”
John O’Shea says that no-one had yet been able to establish a motive for the kidnapping.
[John O’Shea]: “There is absolutely no idea, there is lots of speculation, but that doesn’t bring anybody nearer the truth. Goal has worked in the Sudan for 25 years; we have never turned away anybody from our feeding stations or clinics. So we shouldn’t have any enemies, but it’s a lawless area, so one cannot legislate for the mind set of certain people.”
That was the chief executive of Goal Ireland, John O’Shea, speaking to Sudan Radio Service on Monday from Dublin.
The abduction of Goal aid workers is the third case of kidnapping in Darfur since an arrest warrant was issued by the International Criminal Court against President Omar al-Bashir last March.
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Ireland - MFA - Micheál Martin calls for the immediate release of Sharon Commins and Hilda Kawuki. Ambassador and official team travelling to Sudan
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Micheál Martin, T.D. today called for the immediate release of Sharon Commins and Hilda Kawuki, the two Goal workers who were abducted in Darfur yesterday, and pledged that the Government would do everything possible to bring this about.
Ireland’s Ambassador to Sudan and an official team headed by the Department of Foreign Affairs are travelling to Sudan on board an Aer Corps Ministerial Transport aircraft assigned by the Government. They will travel to Khartoum and Darfur where they will consult with the Sudanese authorities and representatives of the international community on efforts to secure the release of Ms Commins and Ms Kawuki.
Full story: ISRIA, Monday, 06 July 2009 - Ireland - MFA - Micheál Martin calls for the immediate release of Sharon Commins and Hilda Kawuki. Ambassador and official team travelling to Sudan