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Red Cross helps released Sudan rebels reintegrate

April 4 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Number of the rebel fighters, with 66 of them who were sentenced to death, released on 9 March 2017
Number of the rebel fighters, with 66 of them who were sentenced to death, released on 9 March 2017

Red Cross in Sudan has assisted 253 former rebels, released by the Sudanese government on 9 March, with items and resources meant for the men’s reintegration into Sudanese society.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has so far provided 253 former detainees with humanitarian assistance - the majority of them were members of Darfur armed opposition groups.

In a press statement today, the ICRC reports providing them with kits containing essential items, and granted 242 of the released men a travel allowance to cover the transportation costs to their home towns, making their reunification with their families possible.

“We are very pleased to support the reunification of the released men with their families,” said Gérard Peytrignet, ICRC’s head of delegation in Sudan. “It was upon the request of the Sudanese government and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by Jibril Ibrahim that we became involved.”

“The regular dialogue that we hold with all those involved in the conflict has enabled us to play our role as neutral intermediary once again.”

In addition, ICRC’s team carried out routine confidential interviews with the released men to inquire about their well-being.

Following a presidential amnesty, a total of 258 rebel fighters who were captured during various battles with government forces were released from Kober prison in Khartoum North on 9 March.

The rebel fighters were captured during the assault by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) on Omdurman in 2008, and other battles in Darfur, including Donki Baashim, Goz Dungo, Fanga and Kulbus. 66 of them faced the death sentence, which President Omar Al Bashir also repealed.

The release reportedly did not include Ibrahim El Maz and senior officers who were captured at Goz Dungo in Darfur. It was preceded by the release of more than 100 prisoners on 4 March by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).

This month the ICRC facilitated the repatriation of 125 people released by the ,SPLM-N and handed them over to the authorities in Khartoum.

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