Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone: Abducted ADRA staff doing fine

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FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE =AD Both Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) staff members in Sierra Leone who were abducted on March 9 and left in critical condition were treated, released from the Port Loko hospital and "are doing fine," reports Prince Cummings, ADRA Sierra Leone country director.
Aaron Kargbo and Aruna Sherrif were returning to ADRA projects in Port Loko on a motorbike when they were ambushed, abducted and held overnight. The next day, the two ADRA workers were left on a side road: Kargbo with two bullet wounds to his leg and other body injuries, and Sherrif with body injuries as well.

"It is not certain why the two men were targeted, but according to Aaron and Aruna, the attackers claimed they wanted food and other benefits," reports Cummings.

The two had traveled to Freetown along with four other staff members in an ADRA vehicle to pick up some equipment from the ADRA field office, including the motorbike Kargbo and Sherrif 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.

"Both men are planning to return to work early next week," says Cummings. "They both have appreciated everyone=B9s concern." Kargbo works with the Family Tracing and Reunification projects funded by ADRA Sweden in Port Loko. Sherrif works with families of ex-combatants camp work, also in Port Loko.

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).