MSF workers released in Sierra Leone

Press release, Paris, December 16, 1999 - The two members of MSF who had been detained in the district of Kailahun, Sierra Leone, have been released. The MSF Belgian doctor and German logistics officer, held since December 6th in Kailahun in the east of Sierra Leone, left the area by car this morning and were met in Daru by members of MSF who were waiting for them. They were then evacuated by helicopter to Freetown. The two volunteers are in good health and report having been well treated. They were able to contact the MSF team in Freetown regularly. The requests voiced by the rebel leaders who detained them concerned the peace and disarmament process. MSF has been working in the region of Kailahun since August. A polio, tetanus and measles vaccination campaign have been implemented and the team has also carried out health care programmes in the villages. The population living in this area of the country has been in isolation for many years and there is almost no health care available. The MSF team would like to thank all those who have helped and supported them over the past ten days. 30 volunteers are still present in Sierra Leone and provide medical assistance to the population in Freetown, Bo, Moyamba, Kenema, Kambia and Kabala.