Irish ambassador appreciates Sudanese efforts to free two abducted aid workers

14:20, October 19, 2009      

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The Irish government on Sunday expressed appreciation over the efforts the Sudanese government has made to free two aid workers of the Irish aid group GOAL, who have been abducted in Darfur since July.

"We express our appreciation for the role the government of Sudan has played in the past three months to bring about this conclusion," said Irish Ambassador to Sudan Gerard Corr in a press statement to Xinhua.

"In Ireland, we wanted to see Sharon and Helda safely returned to their families and that has now happened, so our sense is great happiness and appreciation for the government of Sudan and the work that everybody has done," he added.

He said, "as the Irish ambassador in Khartoum, I have worked closely with the Sudanese authorities during the past three months and we are happy that the two aid workers have been released after a hundred days or so."

On Sunday, the Sudanese government announced the release of the two Irish and Ugandan aid workers, who have been abducted in Darfur since last July.

Earlier in the day, Abdul-Bagi al-Jailani, the Sudanese State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, said in a statement to Xinhua that the two hostages were released early Sunday, adding that both were in good condition and that they were on the way to El Fashir hospital to receive necessary medical checkups.

"The two abducted aid workers were released due to the efforts of the central government, the government of North Darfur State and tribal leaders. After three months of negotiations with the abductors, the hostages were released without paying any ransom," he added.

The Sudanese minister further reiterated his country's commitment to protecting humanitarian workers, affirming that the Sudanese authorities are working to bring the abductors to justice.

Unidentified armed men raided the quarters of the Irish GOAL organization in Kutum, North Darfur State, in July and abducted two female aid workers, who are Irish and Ugandan, and a Sudanese watchman, who was released shortly after the abduction.

Source: Xinhua
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