Tags: Darfur | rebels.prisoners | release

Darfur Rebels Free Government Prisoners

Thursday, 25 February 2010 11:10 AM

KHARTOUM - The head of the most heavily armed Darfur rebel group on Thursday ordered the release of 50 Sudanese government personnel following the signing of a peace deal, a rebel spokesman said.

The move follows the government's release on Wednesday of 57 fighters of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement, some 50 of whom had been condemned to death for their part in an unprecedented assault on Khartoum in 2008.

"(Rebel leader) Dr Khalil (Ibrahim) instructed the JEM commanders to release 50 prisoners of war from the government of Sudan," spokesman Adam Hussein said.

"The decision has been taken in accordance with the goodwill agreement (signed in February 2009) and the framework agreement signed Tuesday in Doha," Hussein added.

"It is also an expression of JEM goodwill and its desire to give momentum and dynamics to the political process in Doha."

The Qatari government has been hosting talks brokered by world powers aimed at bringing an end to the seven-year-old conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan.

"The International Committee of the Red Cross has been contacted to at least assist in the whole operation," ICRC spokesman Saleh Dabbakeh said.

Last Saturday, government and JEM representatives inked a framework agreement in Chad proclaiming a ceasefire.

"The war in Darfur is over," President Omar al-Beshir said in a speech in the war-torn region on Wednesday.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, 25 February 2010 11:10 AM
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