Machar rebels release abducted aid workers

Kenneth Kazibwe

Forces belonging to the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army In Opposition( SPLA IO) have released seven aid workers under the South Sudan Health Association (SSUHA).

The aid workers were abducted on March 25 during their routine delivery of health supplies in Morobo county in Central Equatorial state .

However, in a statement by SPLA IO Deputy Military spokesperson, Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, the seven were on Sunday released and witnessed by Uganda Police.

“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 aid workers with three vehicles to a delegation of the UNOCHA along the Uganda border in Koboko,” said Col.Lam.

Last week, Alain Noudehou, the U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan called for the release of the group of aid workers whom he said had been going about their work of supplying medicines before being abducted.

In the statement by the Machar rebels, the seven were detained due to security issues concerning two of their colleagues who had been discovered to be working for the Juba government.

“They ( two aid workers) were discovered to be security agents of the regime intentionally deployed to carry out hostile surveillance on our controlled areas. However, the seven were all released on directives from the leadership and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/A IO Dr. Riek Machar.”

The rebels however warned humanitarian agencies against being infiltrated in a bid to help government’s easy access to their controlled areas.

More than a million people have left their homes to nearby countries especially Uganda since a war broke out between President Salva Kiir and his then vice president Rike Machar in December 2

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