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Sudan: ICRC facilitates another handover of released detainees

09-06-2010 News Release 10/101

Khartoum/Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today facilitated the handover to government authorities of 35 members of the Sudanese army, who were released by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) this week.

The released detainees were handed over in Nyala, South Darfur.

" Both JEM and the Sudanese authorities requested that the ICRC help with the transfer in our capacity as a neutral intermediary between the warring parties, " said Jordi Raich Curco, head of the ICRC's delegation in Sudan. " We agreed to put logistical arrangements in place and facilitate the operation. "

Prior to the handover, ICRC staff talked to each of the released detainees in private to ensure that they wished to return to the government-held area. Such interviews are part of standard ICRC procedure in handover operations all over the world.

ICRC medical staff were on stand-by to provide first aid, if necessary.

In May, the ICRC played a similar role on two separate occasions, when Sudanese army personnel were set free by JEM.

In each of the operations, ICRC staff were able to reach isolated areas of Darfur by means of helicopters made available by the World Food Programme.

The ICRC remains committed to providing support for any similar operation in the future should the parties request it to do so.

The ICRC has been working in Darfur since 2004, where it provides assistance for victims of the armed conflict and other violence.

For further information, please contact:
  Aleksandra Matijevic Mosimann, ICRC Khartoum, tel: +249 1 83 476 464 or + 249 912 170 567
  Adil Sharif , ICRC Khartoum, tel: +20 1 87 42 43 44 or + 249 91 213 77 64
  Anna Nelson, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 2063 or + 41 79 217 3264