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Kidnapped aid worker happy to be free

CNN Wires Staff
  • Frans Barnard: "I'm glad to be out!"
  • The British aid worker was released by Somali gunman Wednesday
  • Save the Children says no ransom was paid to the kidnappers

(CNN) -- The British aid worker released after being kidnapped in Somalia says he's glad to free.

"I'm out. I'm glad to be out," Frans Barnard told reporters Friday in Nairobi.

The Zimbabwe-born humanitarian worker was released Wednesday after being held for nearly a week by Somali gunman. His freedom was negotiated by his captors and tribal elders, according to Save the Children.

No ransom was paid to secure Barnard's release, a statement from Save the Children said.

Barnard was kidnapped along with a Somali aid worker from a guesthouse compound in the town of Adado, near the Ethiopian border, on October 14.

He appeared healthy and was smiling at times during his interview, where he described his time in captivity as "not the most comfortable of experiences."

Barnard also noted the importance of the work by Save the Children, while pointing out the dangers aid workers face while on their missions.

"We are called to go into areas where there may be risks, but if there wasn't risks in the areas, there wouldn't probably be the need that necessitated us being there," Barnard said.

A Save the Children director told reporters that Barnard's kidnapping doesn't mean the organization will not work in Somalia.

"We have to look again at the situation because we have to do something to help the children in that region," the representative said.

Save the Children is an international organization based in the United Kingdom. It works to improve the lives of children worldwide. The group said it has been assessing the feasibility of starting up a humanitarian program to help malnourished and sick children and their families in Somalia.

Somalia has not had a stable government since 1991, and fighting between rebels and government troops has escalated the humanitarian crisis in the famine-ravaged country.