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Sudan rebels free 63 Sudan troops: Red Cross

6th July 2012 | 1.790 Views
Khartoum (ANTARA News/AFP) - Rebels in Sudan`s Darfur region have freed more than 60 Sudanese soldiers who have been handed over to government authorities, the Red Cross said on Thursday.

"The International Committee of the Red Cross has facilitated the handover to government authorities of 63 members of the Sudanese Armed Forces who were released by the Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minnawi this week," ICRC said in a statement.

It gave no details about how long the soldiers had been held by the rebels.

Neither Sudan`s army spokesman nor the insurgents could be reached for comment.

Last year, the government signed a peace deal in Doha with an alliance of Darfur rebel splinter factions, but the Minnawi faction and other key rebels in Darfur refused to participate.

They later joined insurgents from South Kordofan and Blue Nile states in a Revolutionary Front to overthrow the Khartoum regime.

Violence in Darfur is much lower than at the height of the conflict in 2003 and 2004, but kidnappings, banditry and clashes between government troops and rebels still occur.

The United Nations estimates that at least 300,000 people have died as a result of the Darfur conflict, which began when rebels from non-Arab tribes in the western region rose up against Khartoum.

President Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur. His Defence Minister Abdelrahim Mohammed Hussein is also wanted by the ICC. (*)