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Kidnappers free Red Cross worker held in Darfur

February 8 - 2010 KHARTOUM

The French International Committee of the the Red Cross (ICRC) worker Laurent Maurice is being freed by his kidnappers after 89 day in captivity. He was kidnapped on 9 November 2009 when he was inspecting the harvest. The kidnappers calling themselves Free Africa Eagles took him first into Chad and later back into Darfur. Saleh Aldabakkah, spokesman of the ICRC told Radio Dabanga they are happy with the release of Maurice. He was released without any payment.

Abu Mohammed al Rizeigi, spokesman for the group told AFP by telephone they freed Maurice because of France’s positive role in restoring Chad-Sudan relations. He said they did not act for money but due to a change of France’s policies in the region. According to the French ICRC Maurice is in good health. Another of their workers, Gauthier Lefevre, who was also kidnapped in Darfur has been held since October last year. Aldabakkah added he hopes Lefevre will also be released soon. The abductions have led to suspension of some aid work in the region of Darfur.

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