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Colombian rebel groups urged to release kidnapped

Annan urgently appeals to Colombian rebel groups to release all kidnapped

On the second anniversary of the abduction of a former state governor in Colombia, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urgently appealed to rebel groups to release all those kidnapped and end the "inhumane practice."

Armed individuals who identified themselves as belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) seized Alan Jara, former Governor of the Department of Meta, while he was riding in an official UN vehicle with the world body's Resident Coordinator, in connection with an important local development project.

"The FARC is responsible for Mr. Jara's physical well-being and should provide proof that he is alive to his family, which has wrongly suffered his forced absence," said a statement released by Mr. Annan's spokesman in New York.

The Secretary-General urgently appeals to the FARC and others to release all those kidnapped and to stop this inhuman practice, it continued.

"It is a gross violation of human rights and international humanitarian law that has inflicted terrible suffering on the Colombian people," the statement said.


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