South Sudan: thirteen UN staff released

Thirteen UN staff were released unharmed by the rebels that held “hostage” to South Sudan last week, said Monday the UN Mission in that country (UNMISS).
Released Sunday, the 13 South Sudanese employees UNMISS, had been captured on October 26 with 18 peacekeepers from Bangladesh – released their October 29 – by fighters of the rebellion that confronts the government forces for nearly two years.
These 31 UN staff were traveling on a river convoy, including a barge carrying 55,000 liters of fuel.
The head of UNMISS, Margrethe Loj Ellen, expressed in a statement “relieved by the release of all UN staff”, recalling “the need for all parties to the conflict in South Sudan to respect and to refrain from obstructing the free access and movement of UN personnel and facilities. ”
She had previously warned that holding “hostage” of the members of UN staff “could constitute a war crime.”
UNMISS said they recovered the three boats of the convoy, including the barge, but not the fuel loading, communication equipment, an inflatable boat and seven of the 16 members of its weapons of military personnel. She called the rebels to return him immediately its equipment and its load.
Approximately 12,500 peacekeepers deployed in South Sudan, the world’s newest nation having declared independence in July 2011 after a long and bloody civil war against Khartoum (1983-2005).

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