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Sudan: five soldiers freed under ICRC auspices

27-06-2011 News Release

Khartoum (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today facilitated the transfer of five members of the Sudanese armed forces to government authorities in Al Fashir, the capital of the state of North Darfur.

The soldiers, who were being held by the Sudanese Liberation Army/Minni Minawi wing, were turned over to the ICRC in an area close to the town of Thabit.

"This event is an emphatic reminder of the role of the ICRC as a neutral and impartial intermediary in times of armed conflict," said Laurent Bernet, the ICRC delegate who supervised the handover. "It is this role, recognized by all the parties concerned, that made it possible for the five soldiers to be reunited with their families."

Members of the ICRC's staff spoke with each of the soldiers in private, before the handover, to make sure that they assented to their release and transfer. The soldiers were also given an opportunity to contact their families by phone or via Red Cross message, to let them know that they had been released and were safe and well.

In keeping with its humanitarian mandate, the ICRC is ready to provide support for any similar operation in the future if asked to do so by the parties concerned. The organization has been providing assistance to victims of the armed conflict and violence in Darfur since 2004.

For further information, please contact:
Julia Gebert, ICRC Khartoum, tel: +249 1 83 476 464 or +249 912 137 764