Ivory Coast: Kidnapped Priest Released

Motives for Abduction Unknown

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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, APRIL 1, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Father Richard Kissi, the diocesan director of Caritas in Abidjan, was released after being kidnapped on Tuesday by an armed group.

Jean Djoman, director of human development at Caritas Ivory Coast, reported that the priest was released on Thursday.

The aid worker added, "He is doing well and has already reached the parish of Notre-Dame de Treichville where he is based."

Father Kissi was kidnapped while traveling to Anyama, a suburb of Abidjan, to evacuate seminarians due to an outbreak of violence in that area.

Violence has been spreading from city to city due to conflict between supporters of outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo and those of President-elect Alassane Ouattara.

Some 10,000 people have been displaced as the warring factions attempt to take over various cities by violent force.

Lesley-Anne Knight, secretary general of Caritas Internationalis, noted that "Father Kissi was providing urgent humanitarian relief in Ivory Coast to people affected by the conflict."

Djoman noted, "We do not have any further elements on the circumstances and the motives for his kidnapping yet."

The aid agency continues working to provide food, health care, sanitation and other assistance to the displaced persons in that country.