South Sudan’s rebels released aid workers

Photo: SPLA-IO/Col. Lam Paul Gabriel

Juba, April 15, 2018 (SSNA) — The Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) has released seven humanitarian personnel, a statement has shown.

In the text seen obtained by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA), deputy SPLA-IO spokesman Col. Lam Paul Gabriel said the release of the workers was ordered by the rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar.

“This morning the 15/04/2018 at about 11:30AM, the SPLA IO command of Div. 2B and the administration of Yei River State safely released seven (7) Aids workers with three vehicles to a delegation of the UNOCHA along the Uganda border in Koboko,” the statement reads in part, adding “The handover was witnessed by the Ugandan police service.”

“…the seven [workers] were all released on directives from the leadership and Commander-in-Chief of the SPLM/A-IO Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon,” the document further explained.

The SPLA-IO said it detained the workers in Central Equatoria region because two of the detained individuals were discovered to be government agents intentionally deployed by Juba to carry out hostile surveillance on our controlled areas.

Rebels warned that South Sudan’s government uses humanitarian groups as a cover to get access to SPLA-IO’s controlled areas and calls on aid agencies to avoid being infiltrated by Juba.

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