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We propose a novel algorithm for sensor self-localization in cooperative wireless networks where observations of relative sensor distances are available. The variational message passing (VMP) algorithm is used to implement a mean field solution to the estimation of the posterior probabilities of the sensor positions in an R2 scenario. Extension to R3 is straight-forward. Compared to non-parametric methods based on belief propagation, the VMP algorithm features significantly lower communication overhead between sensors. This is supported by performance simulations which show that the estimated mean localization error of the algorithm stabilizes after approximately 30 iterations.