ADRA Workers Abducted in Sudan Released
SILVER SPRING, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 5, 2005--The Adventist Development and Relief Agency's (ADRA) three workers abducted on December 16th, 2004 in Labado on their way from Khartoum to West Darfur, Sudan, have been released and are safely back home with their families.
The three men, all Sudanese nationals, were held in the Darfur region along with the equipment and supplies they were taking to West Darfur to construct water wells to benefit 80,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and host community members. Most of the project equipment has also been returned to ADRA's office in Sudan.
"The lengthy detention of our skilled and committed workers has been a detriment to ADRA's assistance programs in an area hard-hit by civil unrest and is of concern to the wider international community," says Byron Scheuneman, senior vice president and chief financial officer, who made a public appeal for the release of the workers. "We're grateful they were returned unharmed, but this ordeal has certainly been arduous."
ADRA is especially thankful for the assistance of the Italian Special Envoy, Ms. Barbara Contini, who spearheaded negotiations to secure the successful release of the three workers.
"We are very happy to be back with our families, and we just want to spend time with them for a while," says Said Saad Mohmed, one of the abducted workers, expressing the thoughts and feelings of all three. Mohmed has worked with ADRA Sudan for 16 years and is a valued member of the well drilling crew.
Despite the challenges of operating in a high-risk environment, ADRA plans to continue its 25 years of humanitarian work in Sudan.
Present in more than 120 countries worldwide, ADRA provides community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, or ethnicity. Additional information about the agency can be found at www.adra.org.
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