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Latest News ÇáÕÝÍÉ ÇáÚÑÈíÉ Last Updated: Apr 28, 2010 - 5:59:29 AM

Zuma helps free cops in Sudan hostage drama

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undefined undefinedZuma helps free cops in Sudan hostage drama undefined undefined


undefined undefinedPRESIDENT Jacob Zuma liaised with the United Nations, the Sudanese government and other structures to secure the release of the four South African police officers abducted in the Sudan and held hostage for 15 days. undefined undefined

undefined undefinedYesterday, Zuma said their release was the “best Freedom Day present for the country”. undefined undefined

undefined undefinedNo ransom was paid although one equivalent to R2.9billion was asked at one stage. undefined undefined

undefined undefinedThe four unarmed police advisers were kidnapped on a United Nations- African Union Mission in Darfur (Unamid) assignment on April 11. undefined undefined

undefined undefinedThe Presidency, which revealed Zuma’s role in the drama, said they were released “shaken but in good health and good spirits”. Arrangements were being made for their return home. undefined undefined

undefined undefinedZuma congratulated the hostages on their bravery and wished them well in their recovery from the ordeal. undefined undefined

undefined undefined undefined undefined

undefined undefinedUnamid spokesperson Saiki Kemal said the peacekeepers – two men and two women – were released in Nertiti, approximately 50km from Nyala, a city in Southern Darfur, on Monday. undefined undefined

undefined undefined“It seems it had been difficult for them, but they are tough people. They are professional police officers in a peacekeeping mission … they are looking good,” said Kemal. undefined undefined

undefined undefined“The government of Sudan’s official security were there to receive them and they were transported by a Unamid helicopter to Nyala. The chief of the mission Mr Ibrahim Gambari, his deputy Mr Mahommed Yonis and a number of government of Sudan officials were also there to welcome them.” undefined undefined

undefined undefinedSouth African Michael Fryer, a Unamid police commissioner, was also in the welcoming party. undefined undefined

undefined undefinedKemal said the four officers will be transported to Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, later where they will spend the night before travelling back to South Africa. undefined undefined

undefined undefinedTheir abduction came after they left Nyala in South Darfur on a 7km journey back to their private quarters, Unamid said at the time. undefined undefined

undefined undefinedAFP reported that Jibril Bukhari Abbas, the head of a Darfur group calling itself the People’s Democratic Struggle Movement, said one of its members had carried out the kidnapping but without instructions from the group. undefined undefined

undefined undefinedThe group said it wanted one billion Sudanese pounds, but that it was not “most important”. “We want to show the international community that security conditions in Darfur do not allow for elections.” — Sapa

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