ICRC facilitates release of 15 detainees in South Sudan

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-27 22:56:20|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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JUBA, June 27 (Xinhua) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday it facilitated the release of 15 detainees in South Sudan.

James Reynolds, ICRC's head of delegation in South Sudan, said in a statement in Juba that the operation marks the second release of prisoners supervised by the ICRC since the signing of the revitalized peace agreement in September 2018 in Ethiopia.

"Our role in this week's release was to first ensure that all detainees were handed over voluntarily and that they had the opportunity to confidentially share their concerns," he said.

Aidah Khamis, ICRC communication officer, disclosed that the 15 detainees were released by an opposition group in new Fangak in the northern Upper Nile region.

Khamis said that detainees were released in the presence of ICRC medical staff member and were transported to Juba by three ICRC aircraft.

"We safely transported the former detainees to Juba, at their request and with the consent of both parties," said Reynolds.

The ICRC disclosed that it was not involved in any negotiations that preceded the release, which was initiated through a specific request by the parties to the conflict.

According to the 2017 agreement on cessation of hostilities, the ICRC is obliged to facilitate the release of detainees as well as supervise for the release of detainees in chapter II of the revitalized peace agreement.

Since last year, the ICRC has facilitated several release operations, including the release of 16 persons in October.