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Kidnapped Are Swiss aid workers taking too many risks?

Following the recent abduction of a Swiss aid worker in Sudan, Swiss Public Television SRF asks whether it is safe for individuals to work in crisis countries, or should it be left to larger organisations? (SRF/ 

Reports say Margrit S. was abducted on Saturday in Sudan’s northern Darfur region. She’s lived in the country for years and built a children’s ward and midwifey school in North Darfur. This was to be her last stint in Sudan, as she is 71 and planned to retire soon. 

She is said to have been taken from her home by unidentified armed men near her home in the Agricultural Research Centre area of Al Fashir. The Sudanese authorities think a criminal gang is responsible, and have stepped up a search in and around the city of al-Fashir. They believe the gang is seeking a ransom.

SRF meets Christian Brunner, a former employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRCexternal link, who was kidnapped in Afghanistan in 1991 and spent 75 days in captivity. The ICRC organised his unconditional release. Another Swiss hostage, Beatrice Stöckli, was kidnapped in Mali in 2016 and remains missing. She was a lone missionary without the sort of infrastructure that Christian Brunner had. 

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