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SRF leader calls for pressures on Sudan over abducted Swiss aid worker

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Margaret Schenkel poses for picture with Red Crescent Society workers in North Darfur (ST file photo)

November 5, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Minni Minnawi, the newly elected leader of Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) Sunday called for international pressure on the Sudanese government to secure the release of a Swiss aid worker abducted in Darfur three weeks ago.

Margaret Schenckel has been kidnapped by unknown gunmen from her residence in the North Darfur capital on 7 October. Since there is no demand for ransom by the abductors.

"On behalf of the Sudan Revolutionary Front(SRF), I would like to express my deepest solidarity with Ms Margaret Schenckel, her family and the people and Government of Switzerland and unreservedly condemn in strongest possible terms this heinous act of abduction and call for her immediate release," said Minnawi in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

Schenkel, who runs a centre for the undernourished children in North Darfur, has worked for more than 20 years in the state. She also founded a number of humanitarian services centres.

The Swiss national also carried out volunteer work in the various parts of eastern, northern and western Sudan for more than 30 years.

He further underscored that the abduction of humanitarian workers is a crime against humanity and urged the "international community to exert maximum pressure upon the Government of Sudan to shoulder its responsibilities and move swiftly to secure her safe release".

The SRF leader compared Schenckel to Mother Teresa and said her abductors are the enemies of Darfur people who "are determined to deprive the underprivileged from the invaluable services she has been relentlessly delivering to them".

Following the incident, North Darfur authorities said they believe that kidnappers are a gang of criminals looking for a ransom and vowed to arrest them soon.

Also, the Swiss government and UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan called for her unconditional release.

Schenkel is the third aid worker to be abducted in Darfur over the past two years.

(ST)

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