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Sudan: Detainees released under ICRC auspices

18-10-2005 News Release No. 05/57

Geneva/Khartoum (ICRC) – A total of 176 detainees were released today in eastern Sudan by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

They were transferred from their places of detention by the ICRC with the assistance of the Sudanese Red Crescent and handed over to the Sudanese authorities in Khartoum.

The detainees had been held for more than five years in eastern Sudan in connection with the former conflict between the SPLA/M and the Sudanese government.

The ICRC’s services as a neutral intermediary had been requested by the SPLA/M and the Sudanese government. The organization has taken part in three operations of this kind so far in 2005, assisting in the release and transfer of over 300 detainees held by the SPLA/M.

ICRC delegates held private interviews with all the released detainees prior to their transfer to establish that each was returning home of his own free will. The ICRC also offered them access to medical services.

The ICRC registered the detainees in 2002 and visited them to monitor their conditions of detention and enable them to communicate with their families through the Red Cross message service.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Lorena Brander, ICRC Khartoum, tel. +249 9 12 137764 or +249 1 83 476 464/65/66  

 Adil Sherif, ICRC Khartoum, tel. +249 9 12 1 61493 or +249 1 83 476 464/65/66  

 Annick Bouvier, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 24 58 or +41 79 217 32 24