Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chinese hostage freed in Darfur sent to Chad

Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) said on Friday the Chinese oil worker, who was freed in Darfur, has been transported to Chad, while four of his kidnappers were handed to the Chadian government.

"The Joint Sudanese-Chadian forces have managed on mid-Friday to free the Chinese worker who was abducted by a Chadian group days ago and led into the Sudanese borders," Sudanese Army spokesman Al-Sawarmy Khaled Saad said in a statement.

"The Chinese worker has been transported to N'djamena at a request by the Chadian President Idris Deby," he said, adding that "the Chinese worker is in a good health."

In the meantime, spokesman of the former rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), led by Minni Arko Minawi, Zu al-Noon Sulaiman earlier in the day told Xinhua a different story, saying that "today we handed over the Chinese worker to the joint forces at Um Baro area in North Darfur State after our forces freed him from the hands of his kidnappers."

The Chinese national, who was working for a Chinese engineering works company in Chad, was kidnapped in eastern Chad earlier this week, less than 10 km from Sudan's border with Chad.

"The Chinese engineer was freed without resort to violence. The kidnapers fled and left the Chinese hostage when they saw our forces," Sulaiman said.

Unidentified group on Wednesday kidnapped the Chinese oil worker in Chad and took him to Sudan's western region of Darfur.

Criminals are active on the borders between Sudan, Chad and Central Africa Republic where they kidnap foreign workers to obtain ransom.

Since March 2009, at least 10 foreign workers were kidnapped but all of them were released unharmed.

In March 2010, Sudan and Chad deployed joint forces along their joint borders. The joint forces were based in El Geneina, West Darfur State, some 20 km from the Chadian border.

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