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Yemen: ICRC confirms that abducted staff member is free

14-07-2012 News Release

Sana'a/Geneva (ICRC) – Benjamin Malbrancke, the delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) abducted on 21 April by armed individuals near the town of Hodeida, in northern Yemen, is free.


"We are relieved and extremely happy to have our colleague back with us, in good health. His return marks the end of many long, hard days, full of anxiety for him and his family, as well as for the team here in Yemen and for his friends," said Eric Marclay, who heads the ICRC operations in the country. "We would like to express our deep gratitude to all those who have lent us their support during these long weeks, so that Benjamin can now look forward to soon rejoining his family."

The ICRC delegate was abducted around 5 p.m. local time on Saturday 21 April 2012 around 30 kilometres from Hodeida town. He was in an ICRC vehicle on his way to the airport.

The ICRC has been working in Yemen since 1962, providing aid for civilians affected by the various conflicts that have beset the country. Today, the ICRC is working in all of Yemen, from north to south, delivering relief assistance to the internally displaced and other needy people, and medical equipment and drugs to health-care facilities. In addition, ICRC doctors perform surgery on wounded patients in remote and volatile areas. ICRC delegates visit detention facilities and help Yemeni families maintain contact with loved ones detained abroad. The ICRC currently has more than 200 staff, including 50 expatriates, working in the country.

For further information, please contact:
Dibeh Fakhr, ICRC Sana'a, tel: +967 711 94 43 43 or +967 73 607 19 67
Hicham Hassan, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 25 41 or +41 79 536 92 57
Frédéric Joli, ICRC Paris, tel: +33 6 204 946 30