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Relief and Development Employee Abducted in Darfur

Contact: Val Henschel, Christian Reformed Church in North America, 905-336-2920, ext. 298


BURLINGTON, Ontario, Nov. 23 /Christian Newswire/ -- A man employed to deliver relief in Darfur, Sudan remains missing 24 hours after being abducted en route from a food nutrition centre Wednesday afternoon.


Ahmed Abaker, a local driver for a Darfur relief consortium including the North American agency, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), was taken at gun point around 3:25 p.m. yesterday in Shaba, West Darfur.  Abaker was driving six passengers in one of two vehicles back from a food centre in Warda when it was confronted by five armed men. The men ordered all six passengers and driver out of the vehicle and stole their personal property. The armed men then instructed the missing man back into the driver's seat, shot two bullets in the direction of the passengers and drove off. 


The passengers were unharmed while passengers in the second vehicle managed to turn around and escape. The men are described as wearing Khaki uniforms and carrying Kalashniknov rifles, though it is not known whether or not they were part of any particular rebel or government-sponsored militia group.


 "Out of the entire pool of drivers, I remember two people as being dependable and just all around fine people, and Ahmed Abaker was one of them," remarks Elly Dalmaijer, who worked for CRWRC in Darfur with her husband, Jack in 2005.


CRWRC works with 90,000 people affected by the conflict in Darfur as part of the consortium registered as World Relief US in El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur. The program is multi-sectoral supplying food, medicines, clean water and sanitation and agricultural inputs and training. CRWRC has been providing skilled volunteers, financial resources and expert consulting in Darfur since 2004.


For an interview with Elly Dalmaijer or Jacob Kramer, NGO relations/relief coordinator, please contact Val Henschel at (905) 336-2920, x. 298.


For more information about these programs, please visit www.crwrc.org or call 1-800-730-3490.  CRWRC is a Christian, non-profit organization of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. With a bi-national home office base in Burlington, Ontario and Grand Rapids, MI, CRWRC provides a ministry of development, relief, and justice education to people in need around the world.  CRWRC is currently active in 30 countries, and has an international reputation for "helping people help themselves."