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Sudan: ICRC confirms that kidnapped staff member is free at last

18-03-2010 News Release 10/44

Geneva/Khartoum (ICRC) – Gauthier Lefèvre, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) staff member abducted in West Darfur on 22 October 2009, is free.

Mr Lefèvre was released on 18 March close to Al Geneina, the capital of West Darfur state. After 147 days in captivity, he is tired but appears to be in good health.

" We are relieved and happy that Gauthier will soon be back with his family and friends, who have been living a painful nightmare for almost five months and cannot wait to see him return home, " said Jordi Raich, who heads the ICRC delegation in Sudan. " Today more than ever, our thoughts are with our colleague and his family. "

Mr Lefèvre was abducted a few kilometres north of Al Geneina as he was returning to the town with other ICRC staff from a field trip.

" I would like to express our profound gratitude to all those who have worked so hard in recent months to secure the release of Gauthier, " added Daniel Duvillard, the ICRC's head of operations for East Africa, in Geneva.

The ICRC began working in Sudan in 1978. Since 2004, it has been responding to needs arising from the hostilities in Darfur. Its priority is to ensure that people affected by armed conflict are protected in accordance with international humanitarian law and that they receive emergency aid, medical care and any other basic assistance they may require. The ICRC's operation in Sudan is one of its largest in the world.

See also the latest update on the ICRC's work in Sudan (10.03.2010)  
For further information, please contact:
  Saleh Dabbakeh, ICRC Khartoum, tel: +249 183 476 464 or +249 912 13 77 64
  Alexandra Matijevic, ICRC Khartoum, tel: +249 183 476 464 or +249 912 17 05 76
  Dorothea Krimitsas, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 25 90 or +41 79 251 93 18