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North Darfur security: Swiss aid worker released, kidnappers held

November 16 - 2017 EL FASHER
Swiss aid worker Margaret Schenkel in North Darfur (file photo)
Swiss aid worker Margaret Schenkel in North Darfur (file photo)

The security authorities in North Darfur announced on Wednesday that kidnapped Swiss aid worker Margaret Schenkel has been “released from her captors in a mountainous area during a professional security operation”.

The head of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in North Darfur, Awad Karim Khalid El Gurashi, said that some of the participants in the kidnapping have been arrested. He said that Schenkel herself will be transferred to Khartoum.

Schenkel, in her 60s, has been living and working as a volunteer relief worker in Darfur for about 20 years.

A group of gunmen stormed her home in October, her neighbours in El Daraja El Oula district in El Fasher told Radio Dabanga. They forced her to embark a Land Cruiser at gunpoint. Political forces as well as the Swiss government called for her immediate relase.

On Wednesday at a ceremony in Kutum, North Darfur Governor Abdelwahed Yousef described the kidnapping as an inhumane act.

He added that Margaret Schenkel, who speaks fluent Arabic, has been a humanitarian activist for more than 20 years, providing assistance to children in North Darfur, running a centre for undernourished children.

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