Sudan: Red Cross Repatriates Five SPLA Soldiers to Juba

Khartoum — The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced Monday the arrival in Juba of five South Sudanese soldiers that Sudan handed to the international group on the same day.

Sudan Armed Forces announced on 6 February that five soldiers of the Sudan People's Liberation Army would be released on 11 February in Nyala, after their arrest in Kafan Dibi in South Darfur state.

"An aircraft belonging to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arrived in Juba today with five South Sudanese ex-prisoners of war aboard", said a statement released by the group.

It further said that an ICRC delegate accompanied the five prisoners of war.

"We are glad that these five men were able to return to their country," said Jean-Christophe Sandoz, head of the ICRC delegation in Sudan.

In April 2012, the ICRC repatriated 13 Sudanese ex-prisoners of war after the South Sudanese authorities had released them, and in September it helped repatriate 19 South Sudanese prisoners of war released by Sudan.

The ICRC has been working since 1978 in Sudan. It opened a delegation in South Sudan in 2011 after the independence of the new country in July 2011.

Khartoum and Juba accuse each other of supporting rebel groups. Also there are several zones on the common border the two parties claim. They failed to activate a buffer zone they agreed in September 2012.

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