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"So far in 2013, ICRC staff in Sudan have facilitated the handover of 78 persons: 37 Sudanese armed forces personnel and 36 civilians released by armed opposition groups, and five South Sudanese prisoners of war released by the Sudanese government," said Jean-Christophe Sandoz, head of the ICRC delegation in Sudan.
Three ICRC delegates accompanied the five soldiers released this afternoon as they were taken by helicopter to Al Fashir. Prior to the journey, they spoke privately with each of the soldiers to make sure they were being transferred of their own free will. The ICRC's regular dialogue with the government authorities and various armed opposition groups enables the organization to play its unique role as a neutral intermediary.
The ICRC has been working in Sudan since 1978. In 2003 it extended its operations to Darfur, where it helps people suffering the effects of armed conflict and other violence.
For further information, please contact:Adil Sharif, ICRC Khartoum (for Arabic), tel: +249 1 83 476 464 or +249 91 213 77 64Rafiullah Qureshi, ICRC Khartoum (for English), tel: +249 1 83 476 464 or +249 912 170 567Sitara Jabeen, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 78 or +41 79 536 92 31