Abducted US aid worker released in Darfur

The kidnappers said they released the worker without being paid a ransom.

Khartoum: A US aid worker was released in Darfur on Monday after being held by her kidnappers for more than 100 days, a Sudanese Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

"She has been released this morning. She is in good health. Right now she is in the Wali`s (governor`s) residence in Nyala," spokesman Moawia Osman said.

The woman was working for US charity Samaritan`s Purse in Darfur.

The kidnappers said they had released her to the South Darfur authorities without being paid a ransom.

"We have demands from the government like developing our areas -- we want hospitals, education -- if these demands are met these kidnappings will no longer happen," one of the kidnappers, Abu Mohamed al-Semeh, said by satellite phone from Darfur.

The abductions are mostly by young men from Arab tribes who demand ransoms. Khartoum has yet to prosecute any of the kidnappers and reports of ransoms being paid in the past have fuelled the crimes.

Two Russian pilots working for a Sudanese airline were abducted from Nyala town on Sunday, state media said, in the latest kidnap.

The abductions have targeted foreign aid workers and UN-African Union (UNAMID) peacekeepers since the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir last year.

Bashir responded by expelling 13 of the largest aid agencies working in Darfur helping some 4 million people in one of the world`s largest humanitarian crises, accusing them of giving information to the court.

The ICC added genocide to the charges against Bashir this year.

Bureau Report

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