Kidnapped UN Worker Set Free

The American UNHCR worker who was kidnapped in Baluchistan, Pakistan two months ago is on his way home to New Jersey.

John Solecki, 49, was found Saturday evening near the Afghan border in western Pakistan unharmed, but with his hands and feet bound. The owner of a restaurant alongside the main Quetta-Karachi highway in Pakistan said he found Solecki lying in the dirt near a wall and pleading “Help me, help me.”

Solecki’s mother said by telephone from her South Orange home on Sunday, “We’re happy, it’s wonderful news.” She added the family wasn’t sure when their son would be arriving in New Jersey but added, “we hope it’s soon.”

Jennifer Pagonis, a spokeswoman for the agency Solecki works for, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said Solecki left Pakistan on a special medical flight early Sunday morning after spending the night in a military hospital in Quetta. UNHCR officials said that besides being treated for an ongoing medical condition, which they would not disclose, Solecki was tired from his ordeal but in decent health.

This is excellent, excellent news. Meanwhile, two  CanadianUN Workers remain missing and presumed kidnapped in Niger.  It all reminds you that UN  put their lives on the line to serve those in need.