British hostage Patrick Noonan freed in Sudan

 

A British aid worker has been released almost three months after being kidnapped by an armed gang in Sudan.

Patrick Noonan, 48, was snatched in March while working for the World Food Programme (WFP) in the South Darfur region of the African country.

He was released after 86 days in captivity and was "looking forward to seeing his family", the WFP said.

Father-of-two Mr Noonan, from Northern Ireland, had spent two years working as a logistician for the aid agency in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur.

Since 2009, 40 humanitarian workers have been abducted in Darfur, including Mr Noonan and six air crew working with the UN Humanitarian Air Service which is managed by WFP.

The aid agency's executive director, Ertharin Cousin, said: "All WFP staff are celebrating the release of Patrick, today.

"He went to Darfur with the aim of helping vulnerable people and his kidnapping was a great strain on his family, friends and colleagues. We are thankful for his safe release."

Foreign Office Minister Henry Bellingham said: "Patrick's family and friends must be delighted, having endured the ordeal of his captivity with great strength and dignity."

Minister for Africa Mr Bellingham praised the authorities in Sudan, especially South Darfur's governor Hamad Ismail Hamad, for their work in securing Mr Noonan's release.

Ibrahim Gambari, joint special representative for the African Union-United Nations mission in Darfur, called on the authorities to find the kidnappers.

In a statement issued through the WFP, he said: "The international community in Sudan and Governor Hamad Ismail Hamad worked closely together to secure the release of Mr Noonan, whose job was to bring desperately needed humanitarian aid to Darfur's most vulnerable people.

"I am aware of Governor Hamad's personal commitment and the efforts of South Darfur's security bodies that enabled the safe release of Mr Noonan.

"It is now crucial that the government of Sudan authorities pursue the hostage-takers and bring them to justice."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test