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Workers return home from Sudan

02-10-2012 10:40 BJT Special Report:Chinese Workers Abducted by Sudan Rebels |

BEIJING / CHENGDU - Fu Shan hugged and kissed her husband Zhang Qianhui, one of the 46 workers who were attacked by Sudanese anti-government forces.

Zhang Qianhui, who was kidnapped in Sudan, is warmly greeted by his wife at Chengdu airport on Thursday.

"Eight family members are waiting for him at home," Fu, who is four months pregnant, told China Daily, fighting back tears. "We prepared new clothes for him."

The workers arrived home safely on Thursday, and the Foreign Ministry urged countries to take practical measures to guarantee the security of overseas Chinese people and institutions abroad.

Tired but delighted, the 29 workers abducted during the attack arrived in Beijing and were then transferred to their hometowns. The 17 who escaped the attack and were later rescued by the Sudan government arrived in Chengdu earlier in the day on another plane.

"I feel so exited. I'm finally back home," one of the workers, Qiu Dong, told China Daily.

"We were so scared when we were surrounded by the forces They kept us in our dormitory. We were lacking water, but we helped each other to overcome the difficulties."

The workers, all from the Power Construction Corporation of China (PCCC), were attacked on Jan 28 by a group of gunmen belonging to the Sudan People's Liberation Movement north sector. One worker was killed during the attack.

After the attack occurred, the Chinese government asked the Foreign Ministry to make every effort to rescue the workers.

With the support of relevant countries and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Foreign Ministry and other relevant departments, companies, Chinese embassies all worked together on the rescue efforts, said Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Ming.

"The most difficult thing this time is that the number of kidnapped Chinese workers is relatively large, and they were located in a place controlled by the Sudanese anti-government forces," said Qiu Xuejun, deputy director-general of the ministry's department of consular affairs.

Qiu led five members from the ministry and the State-owned Assets Supervision Administration Commission of the State Council to Sudan and Kenya to work with Chinese embassies and international organizations to mediate with the Sudan side.

"We really feel that our country's strength (to solve the accident) and appreciate the warm help from all Chinese people," said Yan Zhiyong, the party leader of PCCC.

The company raised money for the kidnapped workers, which will be sent to their families as soon as possible, Yan said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin on Thursday urged countries to take measures to guarantee the safety of Chinese people overseas and institutions.

Abducting civilians for political purposes has been condemned by the international community, and China firmly opposes it, Liu said at a regular news conference.

"Although the abduction of Chinese workers by Sudanese anti-government forces was an isolated incident, it harmed their physical and mental health and caused wicked effects," Liu said.

Xu Yan, dean of the Department of Psychology at the Beijing Normal University, said severe reactions are normal at this stage and require an immediate psychological crisis intervention.

"Languishment, sluggish responses and panic may affect them, and sometimes a "flashback" will drag them back to the place where they were abducted," she said.

According to Xu, around 60 percent of patients will recover within a month. But if the symptoms continue for more than half a year, it can trigger more serious behaviors and even lead to suicide.

"Recovery time depends on the individual situation and the shorter the better," she added.

She also suggested people close to the workers should pay proper attention to them.

"Professional psychological assistance should be given, and other help should be offered at their request," she said.

Editor:Zhang Jianfeng |Source: China Daily

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