Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Red Cross workers kidnapped in eastern Ethiopia

Sep 20 2006 Reuters/AP/ST:
Unidentified assailants kidnapped two aid workers form the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Ethiopia, the humanitarian agency and Ireland said on Wednesday.

The Irish government earlier named one of the kidnapped aid workers as Donal O'Suilleabhain and said he and his Ethiopian colleague were abducted on Sep 18. The ICRC confirmed the other aid worker was Ethiopian but has not provided a name.

The two ICRC staff were kidnapped on Monday while working about 50 kms (31 miles) outside Gode town in Ethiopia's southeastern Ogaden region, Krug Eglin, deputy ICRC head in Ethiopia told Reuters.

"We have suspended all activities in the Somali region for the moment after 11 years of operating in the region," ICRC spokesman Patrick Megevand told the Associated Press.

He said the agency had established contact with the kidnappers and demanded that they free the aid workers.

"We do not know who they are and have not received any demand for ransom, but we have established contact with the kidnappers and we have demanded their unconditional release," he said, without giving details.

"The two staff members were in the area doing their routine work related to improved access to clean water for the people of the region."

Eglin said the agency was also in touch with the Ethiopian authorities.

Government spokesman Zemedkun Teckle said Ethiopian police and security are investigating and trying to track down the kidnappers.

"No one is sure at this time who the perpetrators are," he told The Associated Press. "We do not know if it is ONLF or not."

The rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a movement of ethnic Somalis fighting for independence, is known to be active in the region.


Post a Comment

<< Home