WFP Recovers 2 Missing Aid Workers in Ethiopia

Posted June 30th, 2011 at 11:00 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The U.N. World Food Program has confirmed the safe recovery of two aid workers who disappeared in Ethiopia on May 13.

The WFP said Thursday that the two Ethiopian staffers have been transferred to the capital, Addis Ababa. They were to be reunited with family members after receiving medical care and counseling in the capital.

In its statement Thursday, the food agency did not indicate who was behind the workers' disappearance.

Rebels in the volatile Ogaden region and the Ethiopian government have each accused the other of kidnapping the two men.

Earlier this week, the Ogaden National Liberation Front said it had discovered the workers in the eastern town of Galalshe and claimed the Ethiopian army had abducted them.

The group had said it would contact the U.N. agency to discuss handing over the workers.

The U.N. says the workers disappeared after gunmen attacked their aid vehicle in an area where rebels are very active.

The government sharply restricts the access of aid workers and journalists in the Ogaden region, which is located along Ethiopia's eastern border with Somalia.

Human rights groups have accused both rebels and pro-government forces of numerous rights violations in Ogaden — charges both sides have denied.

The WFP is active in the region trying to help people affected by a severe drought.

The ONLF has been fighting for regional independence from Ethiopia since 1984.