Colombia conflict: ELN rebels free Dutch journalists

Tom MarkLast Update : Saturday 24 June 2017 - 8:55 AM
Colombia conflict: ELN rebels free Dutch journalists

Two Dutch journalists abducted last weekend by rebels in Colombia have been released after a day of conflicting reports about their fate.

Derk Bolt and Eugenio Follender were handed over to a delegation from the Colombian Ombudsman’s Office, the agency confirmed in a tweet.

National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels said they had freed them on Friday but later retracted the announcement.

Fears were raised for peace talks between the rebels and the government.

However, the Dutch pair were finally handed over in a rural area of the Catatumbo region, near the border with Venezuela.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders welcomed the release as “very good news”.

Photos released by the Ombudsman’s Office show the Dutchmen flanked by armed and masked ELN fighters before being transferred to its delegation.

The journalists had been on an assignment to search for the mother of a Colombian child adopted in the Netherlands when they were taken.

The Colombian Ombudsman’s Office, or Defensoría del Pueblo de Colombia, is a national government agency which oversees the protection of civil and human rights.

Source: world bbc

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2017-06-24 2017-06-24
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Tom Mark