Government of Sudan releases 8 JEM detainees following UNAMID mediation

Al Fasher- Sudan (PANA) -- The Government of Sudan on Thursday released eight Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) detainees in El Fasher.
Major-General Imad Ad Diin Mustafa Adawi, Western Area Commander, officially handed over the detainees to UNAMID Force Commander, General Martin Luther Agwai, in his capacity as Chairman of the Ceasefire Commission (CFC).
Six detainees, who were JEM representatives to the AU Ceasefire Commission, were arrested on 29 December near the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) Forward Headquarters in El-Fasher.
The seventh person was arrested earlier in Kulbus.
One of the detainees belonged to the JEM Collective Leadership Faction who was arrested a few days ago in El Fasher.
The African Union condemned the arrest at the time, describing it as a violation of the N'Djamena Ceasefire Agreement of 2004.
According to officials of the Government of Sudan, the eight were arrested for passing on information regarding Government troop movements to JEM.
The Joint Special Representative, Mr.
Rodolphe Adada, and UNAMID Force Commander, General Agwai, worked closely with the Government of the Sudan officials to negotiate their release.
As a result of this intervention the Government of Sudan agreed to release the detainees into UNAMID custody.
During the handover General Agwai and Major General Adawi highlighted the good relationship between the UNAMID peacekeeping force and Government forces, but stressed the need for greater co-ordination.
Major-General Adawi stated that this release should be seen as a gesture of goodwill on the part of the Government, and called for the reciprocal release of government soldiers captured in recent fighting in West Darfur.
Adada committed to helping in any way possible to assist in the release of government soldiers.
General Mohammed Bashir of JEM, spokesperson for the released detainees, expressed his gratitude to all those who had worked for their release.
General Agwai, said he would facilitate the detainees' transfer away from government-controlled areas within 24 hours, according to the Government's demand.
He said: "This is evidence of a change of heart by the Government, and I hope that it is the beginning of a new way of doing things in Darfur, a new way to settle differences and a new beginning for all parties, who should now understand that there is no military solution to the conflict in Darfur.

17 january 2008 22:48:00

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