South Sudan rebels free Tamil Nadu engineers after four-week-long captivity

The natives from Tirunelveli and Kanniyakumari were abducted while on duty in Dar Oilfield at Adar in the Upper Nile State.

Published: 01st April 2017 02:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st April 2017 06:09 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

TIRUNELVELI/KANNIYAKUMARI : Thanks to the constant efforts of Indian Embassy in Juba, South Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO), a rebel force which had abducted two Indian engineers on March 8, released them on Thursday. The two are on their way home.

B Mithun Ganesh (25) and A Edward (40) from Vadakkankulam of Tirunelveli and Thingalsanthai of Kanniyakumari respectively - were abducted while on duty in Dar Oilfield at Adar in the Upper Nile State. Since then, the Indian Embassy has been working with South Sudanese officials to rescue the engineers.  

Meanwhile, SPLA-IO had reportedly demanded a ransom of $1 million for their release. However, the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) of the Republic of South Sudan had refused to pay ransom. Then, on March 16, the Indian embassy appealed to the rebels “to release the Indians as a humanitarian gesture.”

Srikumar Menon, Ambassador to South Sudan, met First Vice President Taban Deng Gai, Foreign Minister Deng Alor and Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatlkouth.  

Following constant efforts by senior officials and humanitarian agencies, Mithun, Edward and Ayaz Jamali, a Pakistani also abducted by the rebels, were finally released on March 30 and brought to Khartoum, capital of North Sudan by Indian officials.

Speaking to Express, Muthu Vijaya Boopathy, Mithun’s father said, “I spoke to my son twice today. He is safe and we are very happy and relieved.” We thank External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, he added.


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