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'Abducted' Chinese workers released in Sudan

Beijing, Wed, 08 Feb 2012 ANI

Beijing, Feb 8(ANI): The Chinese Foreign Ministry has confirmed that 29 Chinese workers abducted last month by Sudanese anti-government forces have been released and have arrived in Nairobi.


"The 29 persons are currently in sound physical condition and a stable mood," the China Daily quoted Foreign Ministry, as saying.


The Chinese workers arrived in Nairobi at 10:35 pm (Beijing Time) with the escort of a Chinese government task group and Chinese diplomats based overseas, the statement added.


According to earlier reports, Chinese workers embarked on a plane chartered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and left the area controlled by anti-government forces in Sudan.


The freed workers will undergo a physical examination and take a brief rest in Nairobi before flying home, the statement added.


The move comes after Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng had called on Sudan to help free 29 Chinese workers who were being held by the Sudan People's Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N).


Twenty- nine captives had been detained since January 28, when a group of 47 Chinese workers were separated from their colleagues while working on a multi-million dollar road project in Sudan's South Kordofan state in the wake of clashes between the Sudan People's Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) and the Sudanese army.


It marked the third case of abduction of Chinese citizens in Sudan since 2004 and highlighted the risks facing Chinese nationals working abroad.


Hao Hongshe, commercial counselor of the Chinese embassy in Sudan, suggested that Chinese companies take measures to raise the safety awareness of workers overseas and increase their investment in security. (ANI)


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