Sunday, 27 July 2014

Despite 21 Days In Captivity, Felix Ngoma Ready To Go Back To Darfur

By Paul Shalala

Upon arrival at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport at around 14:17hrs this afternoon, Zambian humanitarian worker Felix Ngoma (right) was all smiles.

He was not looking shaken as most rescued hostages look.

"Am a happy man, am free and my spirit is still high," said Ngoma at the airport's VIP lounge.

Mr Ngoma was abducted by the Janjaweed militia of Sudan's Darfur region who demanded a ransom for his safe return..

"After three weeks of intense negotiations by various teams, am happy to report that Mr Felix Ngoma is back in the country and he will be reunited with his family today," said Zambia's Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba who handed him over to his family at the Ministry's headquarters this afternoon.

During interviews with journalists at the airport, Mr Ngoma spoke of his hope and determination to see freedom after his abduction.

"I'm ready to go back to Sudan to continue my work. My days in captivity were hard. The first 4 days i had no food but later they fed me. I did not give up hope as i knew one day i would be free," he said.

He described his stay as horrible.

His wife Mary who could hardly speak much, also described the 21 days as horrible adding: "They were my longest 21 days of my life."

Mr Ngoma has worked for the International Organisation for Migration for a long time and he has been to Sudan on two different missions.

He first went to the war-torn East African nation in 2007 and stayed there for a year.

Mr Ngoma returned to Sudan in march this year until this morning when the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing
787 Dreamliner plane flew him back to Zambia to a heroes welcome.

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