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3 Red Cross staff still missing days after their abduction in Mali

3 Red Cross staff still missing days after their abduction in Mali

Mali

Three out of four workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) abducted at the weekend in northern Mali are still missing.

The aid workers were returning from a mission in Abeibara in the north of Kidal when they were captured, according to a spokesperson for the group in Bamako.

“The team had been there (Abeibara) since last Wednesday April 13 and on Saturday, on their way back to Kidal, they were intercepted by someone who was on a motorcycle and asked them to follow him. And since then we have lost all contacts with them,” explained Valery Mbaoh Nana, spokesperson for the Red Cross in Mali.

The fourth employee was released on Sunday according to the Reuters news agency. But the captors remain unknown.

The Red Cross in Mali says it is in contact with all parties in the north of the country to ensure the safe return of the their staff.

The international aid organisation said it did not know the motive for the abduction and was not willing to speculate.

The three staff members who are still in the hands of their captors are however said to be safe and have not been harmed in any way.

Valery Mbaoh Nana stressed that the Red Cross only went to the locality with one goal, which is “to provide assistance to the population”.

“It is important that everyone realizes that the ICRC is there to assist the victims of armed conflict,” he added.

Several armed groups have been active in northern Mali since the area fell to al-Qaeda affiliated groups in 2012.

The jihadists have so far managed to resist international military intervention in the region.

AFP

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