South Sudanese rebels ‘free Kenyan pilots’


South Sudanese rebels have released two Kenyan pilots they were holding after their plane crashed last month, Reuters news agency quotes a rebel spokesman as saying.

Rebels had asked for financial compensation for the death of one person and 11 cows, as well as the destruction of several houses in the crash.

They had been held hostage for more than a month after their plane crashed in South Sudan’s Upper Nile region.

Last week an insurance company agreed to pay the compensation demanded by the rebels.

In a Reuters interview, Lam Paul Gabriel, deputy spokesman of the rebel SPLA-IO, insisted that the money was not a ransom.

“It is just a compensation requested not by the SPLA-IO but by the families of the deceased and the owners of the properties. All we did as SPLM-IO is just to facilitate the exchange and provide security for the pilots,” he said.

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