German aid workers released in Sudan’s Darfur


Two German aid workers kidnapped in Darfur more than a month ago were released and are in good health, said a United Nations official.

“They were released this morning…and they are with the International Committee of the Red Cross,” said the official, who declined to be named. The two men are now in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state.

They were working for Technisches Hilfswerk when they were taken from their compound in Nyala on June 22.

The kidnapping occurred just over one month after an American female aid worker from the U.S. Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse was abducted outside Nyala. She is still being held.

In April, four South African peacekeepers in Darfur’s joint U.N./African Union UNAMID force were kidnapped after leaving their base near Nyala. The two men and two women were released unharmed two weeks later.

Aid groups in Darfur reported a surge of hostility towards their workers after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant in March 2009 for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir to face charges of ordering war crimes in Darfur.

Khartoum expelled 13 foreign aid organisations soon after the warrant. A further charge of genocide was added to the ICC charge sheet this month.