"We are absolutely thrilled at the safe return of our colleagues," CARE's regional director for East Africa and the Middle East, Jon Mitchell, said today. "We are relieved that the ordeal is over for them and for their families."
The men were part of a team of four, driving from the town of Bentiu to Mayoum in Unity State to open a health clinic, which was ambushed by unidentified gunmen. Mr. Makwaq and Mr. Deng were abducted and the other two staff members were killed.
"We take this moment also to honor the memory of our colleagues who died in the ambush," said Mitchell. Ibrahim Ishag Abaker, a team leader for CARE in Unity State, was married with five children, and Mekki El Ekheir Mekki, a driver, was married with six children. Both men had worked for CARE for nearly 10 years.
CARE, one of the world's largest private international relief and development organizations, has worked in Sudan for 20 years. In Unity State, CARE was operating supplementary/therapeutic feeding centers as well as agriculture, water and sanitation and health care programs until activities were suspended in January 2000 due to rising insecurity. CARE is one of a number of NGOs advocating in Sudan and in the international community for an end to the civil war through a just peace.
Atlanta, USA: Susan Aitkin, 404 681-2552, ext. 203 Cellphone: 404 374 3926.
Nairobi,Kenya: Jon Mitchell, +254 2 717367 or +254 2 713672