Eight Samaritan’s Purse aid workers were captured by armed rebels in South Sudan earlier this week but have now been released.
Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian aid organization led by Franklin Graham, said it was “thankful to God” that the aid workers were safely released and they thanked the World Food Programme for helping relocate them.
On Monday, Brigadier General Lul Ruai said, “The rebels attacked and abducted eight local staff from Samaritan’s Purse and are being held ransom. They have demanded that the organization takes aid to them.”
However, Samaritan’s Purse said there were no ransom requests and the team had been unharmed: “We have been in contact with them and they have not been harmed. No ransom request has been made and we are hopeful that they will be released soon and safely.”
Christian Today reports: “Violence, famine and unrest in South Sudan forced the US charity to evacuate most of its staff two weeks ago, now it ‘calls on all parties to stop hostilities and allow immediate full access to distribute emergency food supplies.’”
South Sudan has been in crisis since the civil war broke out in 2013, which is a major cause of the severe famine the country is currently experiencing. According to the UN, three million people have displaced from the region.