Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) confirms reports that one of its three international staff abducted last night in,Serif Umra, North Darfur is a Canadian. Laura Archer, a Montreal nurse, was abducted along with Mauro D’Ascanio, an Italian doctor, and a French field coordinator. MSF’s thoughts are with Archer and two other colleagues, as well as the families of those abducted. MSF is deeply concerned about their colleagues’ safety and is doing everything it can to determine their whereabouts and ensure their safe and swift return. Two of MSF's Sudanese staff were taken at the same time; however, they have since been released. As a result of the abduction of its staff, MSF is withdrawing all international staff as well as Sudanese staff not from Darfur, from projects in Darfur. Darfuri medical and nonmedical staff will continue their work in MSF projects. MSF is extremely worried both for our abducted colleagues and for the populations to whom MSF teams had been providing medical aid. MSF is currently working to get more information about the circumstances and the motives of this abduction. At this stage MSF does not have any further information on the abduction and is not in a position to make any further comments in order to try to safeguard the security of our colleagues.

The French and the Dutch sections of MSF were recently expelled from Darfur. This expulsion did not relate to the other three sections of MSF remaining in Darfur at the time, the Belgian, Swiss and Spanish. These sections of MSF are now withdrawing from Darfur.

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