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Kenya gov’t working to release pilots detained in S. Sudan

January 22, 2018 (NAIROBI) - The Kenyan government said all efforts are underway to secure the release of two Kenyan pilots being held in South Sudan after their plane crashed in a rebel-controlled territory of Upper Nile state.

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The map of Upper Nile state

The abductors, according to Kenya’s foreign affairs office, are demanding a fine after the plane killed a person and a few animals.

The state-owned television (KBC) reported that the abductors, believed to be under the control of Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) allied to ex- first vice president, Riek Machar have vowed that Captain Frank Njoroge and co-pilot Kennedy Shamalla will not be released until a Ksh20 million fine is paid.

The two Kenyans were reportedly abducted and put under tight security in a town near the Ethiopian border soon after the incident.

They plane that crashed was hired by a Juba-based non-governmental entity to ferry its staff to the Upper Nile state region.

The spokesperson for the armed opposition movement could not immediately comment on the matter when contacted by Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

(ST)