Micheál Martin calls for the immediate release of Sharon Commins and Hilda Kawuki. Ambassador and official team travelling to Sudan
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Micheál Martin, T.D. today called for the immediate release of Sharon Commins and Hilda Kawuki, the two Goal workers who were abducted in Darfur yesterday, and pledged that the Government would do everything possible to bring this about.
Ireland’s Ambassador to Sudan and an official team headed by the Department of Foreign Affairs are travelling to Sudan on board an Aer Corps Ministerial Transport aircraft assigned by the Government. They will travel to Khartoum and Darfur where they will consult with the Sudanese authorities and representatives of the international community on efforts to secure the release of Ms Commins and Ms Kawuki.
Since the abduction, the Department of Foreign Affairs, through Irish Aid and the Department’s Consular Services Division, assisted by other government departments and agencies, have been pursuing a wide range of local and international contacts. These include the United Nations, the governments of Sudan, Uganda and countries whose citizens have been the victim of previous abductions.
Minister Martin also said today that: “while the identity and motive of the abductors is not yet known, there have been two recent cases in which kidnapped aid workers were released unharmed after a few weeks in captivity. While I very much hope that Sharon and Hilda are freed immediately, my overriding concern is that they come to no harm.
My colleague, Minister Peter Power, and I have spoken to the Commins family. We offered our sympathy and support in their terrible ordeal and assured them that the Government will use all the expertise and resources available to us to ensure that Sharon is returned safely to them.
I would ask that the family be given whatever privacy they need at this time. I know that Sharon, Hilda and their families will be in the thoughts and prayers of many thousands of people across Ireland this weekend.”
04 July 2009