The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has made an urgent appeal to the Federal Government to work towards the release of the aid workers abducted by terrorists in March 2018.

A statement by the ICRC on Sunday also urged "communities and individuals with influence" to also contribute in ways they could to ensure the release of the workers before the expiration of the deadline given by the terrorists, which is due to expire in less than 24 hours.

The ICRC also appealed to the Islamic State's West African province group (ISWAP) for mercy.

The statement read: "The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is making an urgent public appeal to the Nigerian Government and to communities and individuals with influence to work toward the release of two committed medical workers abducted in north-eastern Nigeria earlier this year. Speed and urgency are critical. A deadline that could result in the killing of another health-care worker is less than 24 hours away.

"To the holder of these kidnapped women, ISWAP (Islamic State's West African province group): We urge you for mercy. We urge you to not kill another innocent health care worker who was doing nothing but helping the community in north-east Nigeria.

"Hauwa Mohammed Liman worked in a hospital supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) when she was abducted on 01 March with Alice Loksha, a nurse who worked in a centre supported by UNICEF."

Speaking on the abduction of the medical workers, Mamadou Sow, head of ICRC's Operations in the Lake Chad Basin, said: "Hauwa and Alice are medical workers who chose to work and help vulnerable communities in Rann, an area heavily affected by violence. The town's population has more than doubled because of the conflict, while most local health-care staff have fled. These women were providing essential and life-saving services to thousands of people, displaced and resident alike. All they sought to do was to help".

Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, who was abducted alongside her colleagues, Hauwa and Alice, was killed by her abductors in September 2018. See Also Breaking News Boko Haram Kills One Of Three Health Workers Abducted In Borno

The statement continued: "The ICRC asks those involved with this case to do everything they can to avoid a repeat of that devastating outcome. Leah Sharibu, a 15-year-old school student, was taken from her school in Dapchi in a separate abduction incident in February. She is also being held by the same armed group and everything must be done to ensure she too is released promptly and unharmed."

Also appealing for their release, Patricia Danzi, Director of ICRC Operations in Africa, said: "We urge you: spare and release these women. They are a midwife, a nurse, and a student. Like all those abducted, they are not part of any fight. They are daughters and sisters, one is a mother -- women with their futures ahead of them, children to raise, and families to return to".

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