JUBA, March 30 South Sudanese rebels said on
Thursday they had freed three oil workers from Pakistan and
India seized by their fighters earlier this month.
The three had been released on the orders of the rebels'
leader, former vice president Riek Machar, and were on their way
to government areas, his SPLA-IO group said.
The Pakistani national worked for DAR, a consortium
including China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China's
Sinopec and Malaysia's Petronas, in Upper Nile state.
The two Indians working for South Sudan's pertoleum ministry
were kidnapped in northeast Maiwut county.
"People are in the process of taking them from our
headquarters in Pagak to submit them to government," SPLA-IO
deputy spokesman Lam Paul Gabriel said.
There were no orders given in relation to locals who were
seized alongside the foreigners and they would continue to hold
them, Gabriel added.
He did not say why they had been taken. But the rebels have
accused foreign oil companies of funding the government and its
military in the past.
South Sudan, which split away from Sudan in 2011 after
decades of conflict, has been mired in civil war since President
Salva Kiir sacked Machar in 2013.
The fighting has forced millions to flee their homes, split
much of the population along ethnic lines and paralysed
agriculture, leaving the country facing famine, according to the
(Reporting by Denis Dumo; Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by