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Rebels free aid workers in stricken Darfur

Sudanese rebels released 16 UN and other aid workers yesterday who were kidnapped on Friday in Darfur province, where a huge international effort to prevent a human disaster is under way. They were seized by the Sudan Liberation Army in Mellit, 30 miles north of al-Fasher, the provincial capital. An estimated 300,000 people in the province are at risk unless a steady flow of aid gets through in the next few months. The US, the UN and aid agencies have accused the Sudanese government of hampering the delivery of food and medical supplies. The government blames the rebels, and the kidnapping came as a propaganda gift to ministers. Naguib Khair, a foreign affairs minister, said: “We, the Sudanese government, condemn and reject the abduction. We feel sorry for it and for exposing the lives of the United Nations and humanitarian aid workers to danger.” Full Story

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