5 January 2014

Sudan: Red Cross Facilitates Release of Troops in Darfur

Khartoum — Three Sudanese armed forces were released today in Darfur by the Sudan Liberation Movement for Justice (LMJ). The International Committee of the Red Cross, in its capacity as a neutral intermediary, facilitated their transfer. The three men were taken by helicopter to El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, where they were placed in the care of the Sudanese authorities.

"In 2013, the ICRC assisted in handovers involving a total of 80 people, including South Sudanese prisoners of war released by the Sudanese authorities, and members of the Sudanese armed forces and civilians released by armed opposition groups," said Maurice Grundbacher, head of the ICRC sub-delegation in El Fasher, who led the Red Cross team facilitating the transfer.

Red Cross delegates spoke privately with the released army personnel before the operation to make sure that they were being transferred of their free will and that they were fit to travel. "The ICRC remains ready to play its role as a neutral intermediary in further such operations if asked to do so by the parties concerned," said Grundbacher.

Captured last month:

Mohamed Ahmed Yagoub, spokesman for the Sudan Liberation Movement for Justice, led by Ali Karbino (LMJ-AK), explained to Radio Dabanga that the three troops handed over to the Red Cross were captured last month when their forces clashed with the Sudanese Armed Forces in the area of Nimra, East Jebel Marra.

Yagoub stated that the release of the army troops came in accordance with the principles of the LMJ and its commitment to international laws and conventions. The released are army soldier Mustafa Babikir Abdelrahman Hamid, a minor aged 17, from El Fasher, and two members of the paramilitary Popular Defence Forces, Adam Ahmed Adam from Torah, and Abdallah Ishag Bushara from Mellit in North Darfur.

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