ICRC: Negotiations have begun for Frenchman kidnapped on Nov 9 in Chad
From SRS - Sudan Radio Service, Tuesday, December 1, 2009:
(Khartoum) – The International Community of the Red Cross says that negotiations have begun in order to secure the release of a staff member who was kidnapped on November 9 in Chad.
Laurent Maurice, a France national, was kidnapped by a Darfur anti-government group in eastern Chad along with two other workers from Triangle, a French humanitarian agency.
Samara al-Rufai is an information officer for the ICRC. Speaking to SRS from Khartoum, he said that the kidnappers had not yet made a ransom demand.
(Samara al-Rufai), “We are still in contact with the kidnappers. We have been calling them by phone but our man hasn’t been released yet. We are trying to resolve this issue as quickly as possible because the important thing is the security and safety of our colleagues and humanitarian staff in general. This is why we are calling for their release. We don’t know at this point what they [the kidnappers] are demanding. But we don’t believe that there should be a price to be paid to release somebody who is conducting humanitarian work for people in conflict areas. There should not be a price for that. The ICRC does not negotiate at all in terms of money.”
The ICRC suspended its operations in eastern Chad and western Darfur following the incident.