Sudanese rebels Saturday announced the release of more than 130 government soldiers captured in the battles in South Kordofan.
In a press release extended to the Africa Review, the rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/ Northern sector (SPLM-N) confirmed that the prisoners of war had been received by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and transported by a helicopter belonging to the international organisation.
SPLM-N further pointed out that South Sudan and Uganda had facilitated the transportation of the war prisoners.
“SPLM-N has handed over more than 130 prisoners of war to the Red Cross in line with the goodwill announced by the SPLM-N leadership,’’ the statement read.
“They have been transported today to Uganda through South Sudan and they will be handed over to Sudan,’’ it added.
The statement said Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni had appreciated the gesture and the facilitation by Sudan and South Sudan to enable ICRC to transport the war prisoners to Uganda through the international corridors.
A handing over proposed by SPLM-N last year did not materialise.
SPLM-N last year announced an initiative to hand over government prisoners of war, but the two sides have traded accusations over the failure of the process.
The Sudanese army did not immediately react to the rebels’ unilateral move.
The Sudan government announced a six month ceasefire in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur.
However, the rebels have repeatedly decried the ceasefire violations by the government forces.
The warring parties have failed to achieve any breakthrough in the negotiations in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, under the mediation of the African Union.
©Alleastafrica and The EastAfrican