Sierra Leone

ADRA staff in critical condition after abduction

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FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE - Two staff members of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Sierra Leone are in critical condition apparently after being abducted and held overnight before being left on a side road with bullet wounds and other injuries, according to Prince Cummings, ADRA Sierra Leone country director.
The two staff members, Aaron Kargbo, working with the Family Tracing and Reunification projects funded by ADRA Sweden, and Aruna Sherrif, who is working with families of ex-combatants camp work in Port Loko, were returning to Port Loko, March 7, on a motorbike. The two had traveled to Freetown along with four other staff members in the ADRA Toyota vehicle to pick up some equipment from the ADRA field office including the motorbike they were riding. The other vehicle returned safely to Port Loko, but staff there became concerned when the two bringing the motorbike did not return after several hours.

The two missing staff members were found by United Nations peacekeepers in the afternoon a day after they were reported missing. The motorbike has not been recovered. Both staff members were admitted to the Port Loko government hospital in very critical condition.

Port Loko is a center for rehabilitation for ex-combatants. ADRA has been asked by the rehabilitation and resettlement wing of the government to be the lead agency, working in partnership with two other local non-governmental organizations responsible for 1,500 families of ex-combatants. The project is funded by Britain=B9s Department for International Development (DFID).

=B3Aaron has been working with ADRA Sierra Leone for the past three years and has been a very dedicated and committed staff member in carrying out his duties," Cummings says. =B3Aaron, whose wife died recently, was one of the ADRA staff who has suffered many painful experiences from the conflict in Sierra Leone. It is our hope and prayer that they will soon recover and join their families."

=B3Aruna is new to ADRA=B9s staff having started work about two months ago,=B2 according to Cummings.

ADRA is an independent humanitarian agency working in more than 120 countries with individual and community development and disaster relief. Those wishing to support ADRA=B9s work with a contribution can call ADRA=B9s toll-free number, 1-800-424-ADRA (2372), or visit the web site at www.adra.org.