Sudan's SPLM-N rebels release 132 PoWs in goodwill gesture
UPDATED 20:00 The opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), with the cooperation of the International Committee of the Red Cross, released 132 Prisoners of War in a goodwill operation yesterday.
In a statement from their headquarters in Kauda, South Kordofan, the SPLM-N leadership said the goodwill operation was to mark the memory of Brigadier Ahmed Bahar Hajana, “a prisoner of war who was murdered by the National Intelligence and Security Service in Kadugli, in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan in June 2011”.
The statement says “the SPLM-N today facilitated the release and transfer of 132 PoWs who were captured from the ranks of the National Congress Party’s forces”.
The decision to release the PoWs came after consultations between the President of the SPLM-N, Malik Agar, Secretary-General Yasir Arman and the Chief of Staff of the Movement’s armed wing (SPLA-N).
'The leadership was determined to bring back joy and happiness to the hearts of the thousands of family members and friends of the PoWs who have missed their sons for years.'
“The leadership was determined to bring back joy and happiness to the hearts of the thousands of family members and friends of the PoWs who have missed their sons for years. Popular goodbye ceremonies for the PoWs departing from the SPLM-N-held areas were today organised by internally displaced persons and the civil administration in SPLM-N-controlled areas who have been suffering aerial bombardment and ground attacks for almost six years. These affirm SPLM-N core values and objectives to uphold humanitarian ideals in its struggle, to respect the other, and to protect and repair the Sudanese national fabric that has been attacked and torn in pieces by the ruling NCP. The foundation stone for these SPLM-N’s traditions and aspirations was laid by founding leaders Dr John Garang de Mabior and Yosif Kuwa Maki.”
The official Sudan News Agecy (SUNA) has confirmed that the released PoWs have arrived in Khartoum this evening. "The released included three officers and 104 privates in addition to 18 civilians," SUNA reports.
The SPLM-N reached out to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, “who secured the approvals of the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan for the transfer of the PoWs through their territories under the facilitation of the ICRC.
“During all these consultations and engagements, the SPLM-N has been motivated and guided by its respect for international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of Prisoners of War,” the statement highlights.
SPLM-N Brigadier speaks with Red Cross representatives
The operation was supervised by the SPLM-N’s Chair, Deputy, Chief of Staff, Deputy Chiefs of Staff, Brigadier Hussein El Gounbola, Brigadier Hamad Abugaia, and Ustaz Yousef El Hadi from within the SPLM-N-controlled areas. Outside those areas, a committee composed of the SPLM-N Secretary General, Ms Butheina Dinar, Mubarak Ardol, and, El Rashid Anwar supervised the operation.
“The SPLM-N leadership wishes the PoWs and their families a secure and peaceful future. This Goodwill Operation is another step in the struggle of the SPLM-N to materialise a just, peaceful and democratic Sudan for all Sudanese,” the statement concludes.
PoWs are debriefed by SPLM-N officers and Red Cross representatives
PoWs pray before their flight
Released PoWs board Red Cross aircraft
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