The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said today it helped facilitate the release of three people including two foreigners in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria State.
The released whose names were not provided are two Sudanese nationals from the Western Darfur region and the third is a South Sudanese. They were being held by the rebel group National Salvation Front (NAS).
“The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) facilitated the release of three people, including two Sudanese nationals, deprived of their freedom in South Sudan. They were released on 9 October 2020n,” a statement from ICRC read in part.
“Our role in this week’s release was to ensure that these three individuals were handed over voluntarily and that they had the opportunity to confidentially share their concerns about their situation,” said James Reynolds, the ICRC’s head of delegation in South Sudan. “We safely transported them to Juba with the consent of both parties.”
When asked by Radio Tamazuj about the identity of the captives, NAS spokesman, Suba Samuel Manase said he only knew about the two Sudanese and that they were arrested in a place of burning charcoal.
“What I know is that our forces have been holding two people and I do not know where the third came from. The two are Darfuris and they were arrested while working in a charcoal place in the bush which was not secure for them so they were arrested in Lobonok and were supposed to be released to ICRC,” Samuel Suba said.
This marks the second release of detainees in Central Equatoria facilitated by the ICRC this year at the request of the relevant authorities and the fourth since the signing of the revitalized peace agreement.
The ICRC said it was not involved in any negotiations that preceded the release, “The ICRC received a request from the National Salvation Front (NAS) to facilitate the release. The ICRC was also in contact with the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and informed all parties about its role in the release.”
SSPDF spokesperson Lul Ruai Koang, when contacted by Radio Tamazuj, said he had no information on the matter.
ICRC Communication Officer Aidah Khamis Woja, when probed by Radio Tamazuj about the identity and circumstances of the released people, was cagey and said that they do not comment on such matters.
“I can confirm that the facilitation of the release happened on Friday 9th October and they are two Sudanese and one South Sudanese. We normally do not comment on what happened to them and when they were arrested. These are confidential and that we do not communicate publicly,” she said.
Source: Radio Tamazuj