Five NGO nurses released by Liberian rebels
2 September 2002
MACENTA, Guinea - Following weeks of intense negotiations, five Liberian nurses abducted June 20 by Liberian rebels were handed over to UNHCR late Monday on the Guinea-Liberia border. A UNHCR staff member reported that the nurses were "fine."
UNHCR staff in the southern Guinea town of Nzérékoré said the return of the nurses took place near the border town of Macenta on Monday afternoon. The nurses were being taken Monday evening to Nzérékoré.
The five Liberian nurses were abducted by rebels of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, or LURD, following a June 20 attack on the Sinje refugee camp north of Monrovia. The nurses worked for the Liberian medical group, Merci, in a UNHCR-sponsored clinic at the camp, which housed more than 20,000 Sierra Leonean refugees and displaced Liberians.
High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers, who has repeatedly pushed for the nurses' release, said he was delighted with the news that they had been freed.