The two aid workers abducted in Darfur on Saturday night have been in touch with local authorities and contacted their colleagues at Aide Medicale Internationale, news reports said today.
"They are in good shape," foreign ministry official Ali Yussef told AFP. "We are making every effort to free them in a peaceful way."
The unidentified pair – a French woman and a Canadian woman – was kidnapped from the AMI office in Ed el-Fursan in South Darfur along with two Sudanese guards, who were quickly released.
The incident is the latest in a spate of violence against aid workers recently. Less than a month ago, four aid workers from Doctors Without Borders were kidnapped in Darfur and released days later. Two weeks ago, a Sudanese staff member from the Canadian agency Fellowship for African Relief was shot and killed.
A report released today found that killings of aid workers were at an all-time high in 2008. Around the world, 122 aid workers died in work-related incidents, making the job more risky than U.N. peacekeeping. Overall, 260 aid workers were involved in serious incidents in 2008, compared to 27 aid workers 10 years ago, according to figures compiled by the Center for International Cooperation and the Overseas Development Institute. Sudan currently ranks third among the most dangerous places for aid workers. Speaking to Reuters, the report’s author said that the number of violent incidents already recorded this year suggests that 2009 may be even worse.