Sudan rebels free 31 kidnapped Darfur civilians


A Sudan People's Liberation Movement rebel soldier looks out toward Talodi in of Sudan, on April 25, 2012.


Adriane Ohanesian

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Saturday that 31 civilians kidnapped by Sudan rebels have been released.

“Thirty-one civilians were released today by the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid in Darfur, Sudan,” the ICRC said in a statement.

The ICRC assisted with the civilians' release to Sudanese authorities.

A spokesperson for the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) told Xinhua, a Chinese news outlet, that “no UNAMID peacekeepers were abducted or harmed during this incident.“

UNAMID announced last week that 31 Darfuris had been kidnapped by an armed group and taken to an unknown location.

The Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) is one of Darfur's main rebel groups. 

Since 2003, Darfur has suffered a conflict that in 2008 the United Nations said had killed about 300,000 people. Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. His government claims about 10,000 people have died.

Violence in the region has significantly decreased, but since the beginning of the year about 130,000 people have been displaced, according to Reuters.