Sommaire: January 28, 2005: European Commission is "deeply concerned" about abduction of three aid workers in Sudan (Brussels)
The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, has expressed his "deepest concern" about the abduction of three humanitarian aid staff working for ADRA, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, at gunpoint in Darfur, West Sudan. This abduction happened end December but was only reported yesterday in order not to compromise the efforts to retrieve them. This agency is a partner of the Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) and is involved in
implementing humanitarian aid programs in Sudan.
"The abduction of relief workers undermines basic humanitarian principles that are designed to relieve suffering in conflict zones. I appeal to all armed groups in Darfur to abide by their commitments signed in Abuja on security and access for humanitarian organizations", said Louis Michel.
ADRA is an impartial and neutral aid organisation that has been working in Sudan for more than 25 years and has never been involved in the politics of the situation. The aid workers were travelling in a clearly marked humanitarian convoy when they were abducted at gunpoint in the rebel held area of Labado.
The three Sudanese nationals were implementing a vital water project funded by ECHO. The program was helping to prevent water-borne and hygiene-related disease by providing clean drinking water to about 80,000 displaced people in Geneina, West Darfur. The drilling of essential wells has been suspended until the material can be recovered. The people living in this harsh, semi-desert region will suffer greatly as a result of the looting and abductions.