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FRANCE - SUDAN

Sudan works with Chad, France to find kidnapped Frenchman

Sudan's Foreign Affairs Minister Ibrahim Ghandour
Sudan's Foreign Affairs Minister Ibrahim Ghandour AFP

Sudanese security agents have launched a search for a Frenchman who was kidnapped in neighbouring Chad on Thursday. Officials in Khartoum say this follows Chadian Security Minister Ahmat Mahamat Bachir's announcement oin Friday that the man, who works for a mining company, had been taken to their country.

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The man, who is in his 60s and has not been named, was kidnapped in an area near Goz Beida, about 200 kilometres south of the Chadian city of Abeche a nd 150 kilometres from the Sudanese border.

Sudanese Foreign Affairs Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said on Sunday that the powerful National Intelligence and Security Service and the military intelligence had launched an operation to find him.

"They all are working to find the French hostage and return him to his homeland," Ghandour told the official Suna news agency. "Khartoum is coordinating with French intelligence and the government of Chad ... We hope to find him soon."

No group has claimed responsibility or demanded a ransom so far.

 "We are doing everything possible alongside the Chadian authorities to obtain his release," French Foreign Affaris Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told the AFP news agency on Friday.

While seveal French and other Western nationals have been kidnapped by jihadi groups in west and central Africa in recent years, the last such case in Chad, a former French colony, was in 2009, when French International Committee of the Red Cross worker Laurent Meurice was held for 89 days by an organisation calling itself the "Freedom Eagles of Africa".

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