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Abducted UNHCR staff member released unharmed in Somalia

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Abducted UNHCR staff member released unharmed in Somalia

28 August 2008

Nairobi, Wednesday 27 August 2008

The UN refugee agency is pleased to announce the release of Hassan Mohammed Ali, head of UNHCR's office in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, after two months in captivity.

Ali, who is also known as Keynaan, is in good health and preparations are underway to reunite him with his family. He was abducted from his home near the Somali capital on June 21 by an unknown armed group.

UNHCR would like to thank all Somali organizations and members of civil society who organized demonstrations to call for his release. We are also grateful for all the expressions of public support and solidarity received during the difficult weeks of his captivity. UNHCR provided aid to displaced Somali civilians throughout this period and will continue to do so.

We extend our sympathies to aid workers who are still forcibly detained in Somalia. Abductions and attacks against humanitarian workers have increased over the past few months, jeopardizing the delivery of aid to vulnerable populations.