UNV statement on release of Darfur hostages

News and Press Release
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The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is relieved at the release from captivity on Sunday 13 December of Ms Pamela Ncube, a UNV volunteer serving with the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), together with her UNAMID colleague Mr Patrick Winful.

Ms Ncube and Mr Winful were abducted in the town of Zalingei in West Darfur on 29 August. Their release was warmly welcomed by staff and family members who had been following the situation anxiously over the almost four months of their captivity.

Ms Ncube has been serving with UNAMID as a Child Protection Officer for two-and-a-half years. She is one of about 400 UNV volunteers currently serving with UNAMID, supporting the more than 19,000-person strong police and military components with water, food, fuel, road transport and aviation, IT and communications, camp construction and management, mapping, and medical services. They are also assisting local authorities in Darfur to maintain the rule of law and state authority through public information and civil affairs activities, and supporting the protection of vulnerable civilian groups through human rights and child protection activities.

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing an increasing number and diversity of volunteers, including experienced UNV volunteers, throughout the world. UNV embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive, and recognizes volunteerism in its diversity, as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity.