125 Sudanese soldiers held by the RSF released: Red Cross

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By Webdesk

ICRC says the soldiers were captured by the paramilitary group in the capital Khartoum and the western region of Darfur.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it has mediated between Sudan’s warring factions to facilitate the release of more than 100 prisoners of war.

Sudan has been gripped by violence since April 15, when a power struggle between the leaders of the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) erupted into a vicious war that has killed thousands and displaced millions from their homes.

The ICRC said on Thursday a total of 125 army soldiers detained by the RSF were able to return to their families ahead of Eid al-Adha, one of the biggest holidays in the Islamic calendar. Among them, 44 were injured, the organization said.

The group was taken from Khartoum to Wad Madani, south of the capital.

Similarly, 14 injured people were released on Monday with the help of the ICRC in the flashpoint region of Darfur, in the west of the country.

“This positive step means that families will celebrate Eid-al-Adha with their loved ones,” said Jean Christophe Sandoz, head of the ICRC delegation in Sudan. “We stand ready to act as a neutral intermediary for the release of detainees from all sides of the conflict when requested.”

The ICRC maintains strict neutrality in armed conflicts for the purpose of caring for victims.

It visits prisoners on both sides of conflicts and helps them stay in touch with their families. It also organizes the release or exchange of prisoners at the request of parties to the conflict, as in this case.

This week, both the Sudanese military and RSF announced a “unilateral” ceasefire for Eid al-Adha, but residents of Khartoum condemned the statements as meaningless amid reports of shelling, airstrikes and anti-aircraft fire.

Multiple ceasefire agreements have fallen through, including several brokered by Saudi Arabia and the United States during suspended talks in the Saudi port city of Jeddah.

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