Published Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Patrick Noonan from Northern Ireland, who was taken hostage in Sudan. (© PA)
Patrick Noonan, a father-of-two, had been working for the World Food Programme when he was captured.
The 48-year-old has now been released into the WFP's care, after 86 days in captivity.
Patrick's family and friends must be delighted, having endured the ordeal of his captivity with great strength and dignity.
Henry Bellingham, UK Minister for Africa
"He went to Darfur with the aim of helping vulnerable people and his kidnapping was a great strain on his family, friends and colleagues," the organisation's executive director Ertharin Cousin said.
"We are thankful for his safe release."
Mr Noonan had been in Sudan for about two years and was working in the city of Nyala when he was abducted.
Armed men took him and a Sudanese driver on the morning of 6 March, but while the driver was released later the same day, Mr Noonan was held hostage.
The WFP said it had been working with the United Nations' Department of Safety and Security, the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid), the government of Sudan and the British Embassy - as well as relevant local authorities in Darfur - to secure his release.
"It is now crucial that the government of Sudan authorities pursue the hostage-takers and bring them to justice," the UN-designated official for security in Darfur, Ibrahim Gambari, said.
According to the WFP, the situation in Darfur remains volatile - 40 humanitarian workers have been abducted in the region since 2009.