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Kidnapped Nonviolent Peaceforce Civilian Peacekeeper Released Unharmed
Date:6/3/2009

BRUSSELS, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) is pleased to share today the release of Mr. Umar Jaleel, an NP international civilian peacekeeper working on Basilan Island in the Mindanao region of the Philippines who was kidnapped from the NP residence by a group of armed men on Friday, Feb. 13. Jaleel is alive and is currently en route to medical facilities. He was released today at 1245 UTC near the vicinity of Tipo Tipo on Basilan. Jaleel was released through negotiations between a spokesperson for the captors and NP, with the assistance of local contacts supported by the provincial administration.

NP, (www.NonviolentPeaceforce.org) a non-partisan, non-sectarian and non-political organization currently has 17 International Civilian Peacekeepers and 22 local staff serving in the Mindanao region. NP focuses on civilian peacekeeping through an unarmed, trained civilian peacekeeping force that works in conflict zones worldwide. They work to enable dialogue among parties in conflict and provide proactive presence for civilians and communities at risk, and to contribute towards consolidating structures of peace at the grassroots level of society.

The release was accomplished nonviolently and without payment of ransom.

"We are grateful and relieved for the safe return of Mr. Umar Jaleel," said Mel Duncan, executive director for NP. "We are thankful to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and its forces in Basilan, the Moro National Liberation Front, the crisis management committee of Basilan, the Provincial Governor of Basilan, the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for their cooperation during Jaleel's captivity."

"We are not discouraged by this traumatic event," added Duncan. "This is even more reason to intensify our efforts in supporting local work that promotes
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SOURCE Nonviolent Peaceforce
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