- The International Committee of the Red Cross has appealed for the release of the two agency staff kidnapped in recent weeks in Sudan and neighbouring Chad.
Two French nationals were kidnapped by gunmen in Sudan's western Darfur region on 22 October while the second one was abducted on Monday near Chad's eastern border with Sudan.
The ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger has pleaded for immediate and unconditional release of the abducted colleagues. “We are in regular contact with the two groups concerned by the kidnappings,” he said.
A senior Sudanese official said kidnappers are demanding US$4.5 million ransom to release Gauthier Lefevre, kidnapped in October.
The ICRC had said in a statement on Tuesday that it had no indication of who Laurent Maurice's abductors in eastern Chad might be or of their motives.
The dry eastern region is home to an estimated 450,000 refugees and displaced people, including from Sudan and the Central African Republic, putting a great strain on scarce local resources.
It is also beset by violence spilling over from the neighbouring Darfur, where a brutal Sudanese government crackdown on local years in recent years has left 300,000 people dead and displaced millions, according to the United Nations.
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