SUDAN WATCH: Kidnapped Darfur aid staff freed

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kidnapped Darfur aid staff freed

Good news from the BBC, Sunday, 18 October 2009:
Kidnapped Darfur aid staff freed
Two aid workers who had been kidnapped in Sudan's Darfur region have been released by their captors, reports say.

Irish citizen Sharon Commins, 32, and her Ugandan colleague Hilda Kawuki, 42, were working for the Irish charity Goal when seized by gunmen in Kutum in July.

Ireland's Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin said he was "delighted and relieved" to hear the two volunteers had been freed.
The Sudanese government confirmed the pair were freed early Sunday morning.

Sudan's state Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Abdel Baqi al-Jailani, said: "They are free, they are in good health... [and] were released earlier this morning."

He stressed that "no ransom was paid," adding that local tribe leaders had put pressure on the kidnappers to release the workers.

Reports earlier in the year had suggested the kidnappers made a $2m ransom demand in return for their safe release.

The two women were taken hostage at gunpoint at an aid compound in Kutum on 3 July.

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