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ETHIOPIA: French aid worker, two officials held by rebel group

A French aid worker and two local officials, kidnapped on Saturday in the Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopia, are still
being held by their captors.

An official from the NGO, Action contre la faim (ACF), whose employee is one of the three, told IRIN on Thursday the kidnappers had neither asked for ransom nor communicated with ACF field officers.

However, the official, who requested anonymity, said ACF had received information that the three are in good health. He added the situation "remained vague" and ACF officials were doing their best to locate the three.

"The abductors have not given any reason to us as to why they are holding the three nor made any request. We have worked with the community in this area for three years, we ask for the release of the three," he told IRIN.

The three were part of a group of eight on an ACF mission to assess a water site when they were kidnapped. Five were released but a French engineer, a local colleague and a community elder were detained.

The BBC on Wednesday quoted a statement by an Ethiopian rebel group, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), in the Somali capital Mogadishu, which said they were holding the three and that the Frenchman had engaged in "inappropriate activities".

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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