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UNHCR worker safe in Abidjan

Briefing notes

UNHCR worker safe in Abidjan

29 September 2000

Sapeu Laurence Djeya, a UNHCR staff member abducted by gunmen in the Guinea town of Macenta 12 days ago has been reunited with her family in Côte d'Ivoire. Our colleague is currently being looked after by a UNHCR doctor who had been sent to Abidjan following her abduction. She spent her first night in Abidjan in hospital undergoing medical exams. She was flown to Abidjan from Monrovia Thursday evening aboard a UNHCR-chartered aircraft. Upon her arrival in Abidjan, Ms Djeya thanked all those UNHCR and other officials who helped to bring her back to safety. She was visibly shaken by her experience.

Djeya was handed over to UN officials and Ivorian diplomats by the Liberian authorities in Monrovia Thursday. She was earlier brought to the Liberian capital by the Liberian security forces who said they rescued her in the forest close to the Guinea border.

Djeya was abducted by gunmen on September 17 from the residence of Mensah Kpognon, the head of the UNHCR office in the Guinea town of Macenta. The gunmen shot Kpognon dead and burned his house.