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Sudan: ICRC facilitates transfer of three members of government forces in Darfur

05-01-2014 News Release 14/01

Khartoum/Geneva (ICRC) – Three members of the Sudanese government armed forces were released today in Darfur by an armed opposition group, the Sudan Liberation Movement for Justice (LMJ). The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in its capacity as a neutral intermediary, facilitated their transfer. The three men were taken by helicopter to Al Fashir, the capital of North Darfur, where they were placed in the care of the Sudanese authorities.

"This is the first such operation this year. 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 Al Fashir, who led the three-member ICRC team facilitating the transfer.

ICRC delegates spoke privately with the released 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 Mr Grundbacher.

The ICRC has been working in Sudan since 1978. In 2003 it extended its operations to Darfur, where it helps people suffering the effects of armed conflict and other violence.

For further information, please contact:
Adil Sharif, ICRC Khartoum (for Arabic), tel: +249 1 83 476 464 or +249 91 213 77 64
Rafiullah Qureshi, ICRC Khartoum (for English), tel: +249 1 83 476 464 or +249 912 170576
Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 251 93 02