Sudan + 1 more

Report of ransom in Uganda is false, says IRC

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The International Rescue Committee reiterated today that no ransom was paid to gain release of staff members who were set free by the Lord's Liberation Army on Saturday (August 10) in Uganda.
Timothy Bishop, who heads the IRC's programs in Uganda, said that a Kampala newspaper was mistaken in reporting that a ransom had been paid.

"No ransom was paid -- not by the IRC and not by any person or agency acting on our behalf," said Bishop.

Today, the newspaper, New Vision, published a page-one article under the headline "Aid Staff Released Without Conditions" that reported Bishop's rebuttal of the earlier erroneous story.

Five IRC staff members, all men and all Ugandan citizens, were taken prisoner August 5 when rebel forces attacked the Achol-Pii refugee camp. After being held five days, the aid workers, along with a captured Ugandan policeman, were released in the bush and made their way to Lira, arriving Sunday afternoon.

Bishop reported today that all of the 37 IRC staff members who were missing after the attack have now been accounted for and are all safe.

Meanwhile, the IRC has been working with the United Nations to help relocate more than 20,000 refugees from Achol-Pii to a safer camp in Masindi District and is providing them with emergency medical assistance.

Additional information

Media relations:

Edward Bligh (New York, HQ) (212) 551-3114
ebligh@theIRC.org

Melissa Winkler (New York, HQ) (212) 551-0972
melissa@theirc.org

Program activities:

Semir Tanovic (New York, HQ) (212) 551 -3069
semir@theirc.org