Los Angeles 10/20/2010 11:53:03 PM
News / Politics

British Aid Worker Released In Somalia

A British aid worker, who was abducted by Somali militants last week, has been freed. 

According to local authorities, Frans Barnard, an employee at a UK-based charity "Save the Children", was released Tuesday night some 250 km from Adado, the city where he was kidnapped. 

Anna Ford, the spokeswoman for Save the Children, confirmed the report. 

"He is safe and well", said Ford. "He is in good spirits. He said it is marvellous that he has been released and we look forward to seeing him soon."

Barnard was abducted near Somalia's border with Ethiopia, together with a Somali co-worker who was freed shortly after the kidnapping. 

Ford said that no payments were made to abductors for Barnard's release. "I think it is important to point out that it was actually the clan elders and the local administration that negotiated his release", the spokeswoman said.

According to Ford, the men visited Adado to survey the town ahead of the launch of a new campaign to help malnourished and sick children. 

Roger Middleton, an analyst at UK-based think tank Chatham House, believes that abduction can cause problems for the aid organization. 

"This raises a number of problems for them.  The area where the consultant was looking at was considered a place that might be an area that would be suitable for some new activities for Save the Children.  This will obviously make them think about that very seriously," he said.

According to him, it is already very difficult for aid organizations to operate in Somalia due to lack of security.