June 24, 2016 (KHARTOUM). The release of 41 Sudanese Prisoners of War (POWs) and detainees by the SPLM-N rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states has been delayed for the second day due to unexpected procedural measures, said the Sa’ihoon group that carries out the operation.
Since several days, it was announced that the 41 POWs and detainees will be transported by ICRC in two batches to Khartoum via Addis Ababa on Thursday and Friday.
Two planes of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are on the ground in Asosa airport in Ethiopia waiting for permissions to fly to airstrips in the rebel controlled areas of Yabous in Blue Nile and Kauda in South Kordofan to transport the 41 POWs and detainees.
“The release of the POWs and detainees was delayed by urgent procedural measures and a new date for the release will be announced soon, said the Islamist Sa’ihoon group in a short statement on Friday.
The group stressed that all the parties are committed to complete the release of the POWs and detainees as agreed earlier.
In December 2014, SPLM-N announced its intention to release 20 POWs from Sudanese government forces and 21 staff of mining companies who were detained after crossing into SPLM-N controlled areas in Blue Nile.
A delegation from Sa’ihoon headed by Fatah al-Alim Abdel al-Hai and Anwar Shiba, arrived in Asosa to follow the release of the POWs and detainees.
Saehoon group was formed by Islamists who fought against Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in 1990s before the session of South Sudan. But the group’s supporters are now in the opposition and call for reforms.
Following a meeting in Addis Ababa in November 2014, Sa’ihoon Secretary General agreed with the SPLM-N Secretary General Yasir Arman that the group of the former combatants would mediate between the government of Sudan and SPLM-N to secure the release of POWs and detainees.