Monday, February 8, 2010

Chad: French aid worker released

Armed men have released a foreign aid worker held for 89 days in Chad, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Saturday.
French aid worker Laurent Maurice was abducted by armed men on 9 November 2009 in the village of Kawa, some 20km (12 miles) from the border with Sudan, where the aid agency is supporting a primary health care center.

The Organization said in a press statement "Laurent Maurice is tired but appears to be in good health".

An ICRC spokesman was quoted by Reuters that the aid worker was now on his way to Sudan's capital Khartoum.

"The ICRC is relieved that Laurent is now free and happy that he will soon be back with his family and friends", the AFP news agency quoted Jordi Raich, the head of the ICRC's mission in Sudan.

"We would like to express our profound gratitude to all those who helped us in one way or another during his captivity," Raich added.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner confirmed the report.

Maurice, 37, had been in Chad for 10 months before his abduction.

Another French aid worker who was working for the ICRC, Gauthier Lefevre, was kidnapped in Darfur last October and still being held.

Attacks against aid workers are common phenomenon in eastern Chad.

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