United Nations confirms the release of hostages in Sudan

KHARTOUM, Saturday 12 February 2000

The United Nations today Saturday 12 February confirmed the release on Thursday 10 February 2000, of four personnel associated with Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) detained by a south Sudanese militia in Upper Nile state, south Sudan since last Thursday 3 February 2000.

The four men were freed from Old Fanjak, about 470 miles south of the capital, Khartoum, where they had been held captive since their aircraft was detained a week ago. They were transported by helicopter from Old fanjak to the town of Malakal, capital of Upper Nile State. All four men were exhausted but well.

Three of the captives, a United States national working for the Children's fund (UNICEF) and two Kenyan nationals employed as pilot were on Thursday 10 February flown to Lokichkio which is the OLS base in northwestern Kenya.

The forth captive, a Sudanese national humanitarian worker from the Relief Association of Southern Sudan (RASS) arrived in Lokichokio on Friday 11 February after staying overnight in Malakal.

The detainees were freed after lengthy negotiations between the Sudanese militia, the Government of Sudan and UN officials in Sudan. The aircraft remained in Old Fanjak because of mechanical problems.

The UN is pleased that the incident ended peacefully and is thankful to the Government of Sudan for their assistance in securing the release of the four men.

The UN and the Government have agreed that a full investigation of the events and circumstances surrounding the detention of the aircraft would be carried out.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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