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Sudan: ICRC reunites mother and son

22-03-2001 News Release 01/11

" Mama, it's me! " exclaimed Mr Daau when he saw the 82-year-old blind woman waiting for him in a reception room at Khartoum International Airport. He immediately recognized the mother from whom he had been separated 17 years previously, when the internal conflict broke out in southern Sudan.

At the time his mother, Mrs Apiok, had taken refuge in a camp for the displaced in Maridi, in an area controlled by the Sudanese People's Liberation Army. Her son later approached the ICRC to try and get in touch with her, and soon they were able to communicate by means of Red Cross messages.

Recently Mrs Apiok found herself in a very difficult situation, having no one to take care of her in Maridi. The ICRC contacted all the authorities concerned to request permission to reunite her with her son, and received a favourable response. On 17 March, Mrs Apiok boarded an ICRC plane which took her from Maridi to Lokichokio and then on to Khartoum, where her son was waiting impatiently to see her after all these years. Neither of them could hide the tears of joy once they were in each other's arms.