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Sudan hostage Swiss aid worker in Darfur region set free

The woman was kidnapped in a part of Sudan with long-standing tribal conflicts

(KEYSTONE/AP/MOSA'AB ELSHAMY)

A Swiss humanitarian worker, kidnapped last month, has been released in Sudan’s war-torn northern Darfur region.

A senior Sudanese official said security forces launched an operation to free the woman from where she was being held in a rural area near Kutum.

He added that the victim was in “good health” but gave no further details of the rescue operation or the kidnappers.

The Swiss foreign ministry said it was relieved and thanked the Sudanese authorities for their efforts.

Switzerland had called for the unconditional release of the woman, who has been working for a Swiss non-governmental organisation and living in the region for many years.

She abducted by unidentified gunmen outside her home at an agricultural research centre in the town of Al-Fashir at the beginning of October.

Conflict region

The United Nations has stationed peacekeepers in the region since 2007 as part of a joint mission with the African Union.

The Sudanese government has been keen to show it is making progress in winding down long-standing conflicts, extending a unilateral ceasefire with rebels.  

The conflicts began in 2003 when mainly non-Arab tribes, who felt marginalised, took up arms against Sudan’s Arab-led government. They have left nearly 300,000 people dead and 2.5 million people displaced, according to the UN.

swissinfo.ch with agencies/ug

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