26 September 2012, Sweetcrude/African Press Organization (APO), GENEVA, Switzerland – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) facilitated the repatriation today of 19 South Sudanese prisoners of war released by the Sudanese government.
“In its capacity as neutral intermediary, the ICRC helped the prisoners of war to return home after obtaining their consent,” said Jean-Christophe Sandoz, head of the ICRC delegation in Sudan. “We are glad that they will soon be able to rejoin their families.” The prisoners of war were transported aboard an ICRC aircraft from Sudan to South Sudan, where they were placed in the care of the authorities.
In accordance with its mandate under the Geneva Conventions, the ICRC visited the prisoners of war in August to check on their condition. The organization visits detainees to ensure that they are treated with dignity and humanity, in accordance with international humanitarian law, a set of rules which seek to limit the effect of armed conflict for humanitarian reasons.
As an impartial, neutral and independent humanitarian organization, the ICRC stands ready to provide any further humanitarian services that may be requested by the parties concerned. In April, the ICRC assisted in the repatriation of 13 Sudanese prisoners of war after they were released by the South Sudanese authorities.
The ICRC has been working in Sudan since 1978, where it provides assistance for victims of the armed conflict and other situations of violence. It opened a delegation in South Sudan in 2011 after the country became independent.