The Malian branch of the International Committee of the Red Cross announced on Sunday that two of its employees who were kidnapped in northern Mali in early March have been released.
According to the ICRC’s statement on Twitter, “Our colleagues are well and have been released unharmed without conditions. We thank all those who contributed to their release.”
The director of operations for ICRC, Martin Schuepp, had previously noted that crime was a prevalent issue in Mali and presented a security challenge.
Mali has been dealing with security and political crises since 2012 due to jihadist and separatist uprisings in the north of the country.
Militants associated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have extended their activities into central Mali and neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.
These developments have resulted in thousands of people being killed, while over two million others have been forced to flee their homes.
Kidnappings have become common in the country, with motives varying from ransom demands to acts of reprisal.
In January, a doctor affiliated with the World Health Organization was abducted in Mali but was later released in February.
In May, three Italians and a Togolese national were taken by armed men in the southeastern part of the country.
The head of the ICRC delegation in Mali, Antoine Grand said, “We are grateful for the safe release of our colleagues.”
“We commend their courage during this difficult ordeal and thank all those who worked towards their release. We will continue to assist the people of Mali in line with our humanitarian mandate,” he added.
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