ICRC appeals for release of 2 staffers in Africa

AP News
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Posted: Nov 11, 2009 6:58 AM

The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross has called for the "immediate and unconditional release" of two staff members kidnapped in the African countries of Chad and Darfur.

ICRC chief Jakob Kellenberger says the neutral aid group "is mobilized to do whatever we can to see our colleagues released."

Gunmen kidnapped Frenchman Gauthier Lefevre in Sudan's western Darfur region on Oct. 22, and are asking for a ransom for his release. ICRC has said it has a policy of not paying a ransom under any circumstances.

Laurent Maurice, also French, was abducted on Monday near Chad's eastern border with Sudan.

Kellenberger dismissed suggestions Wednesday that the men were targeted because they are French.