Egypt mediating for captives’ release, Sudanese paper says

Egypt is mediating negotiations for the release of Sudanese soldiers captured during tension between the countries over the oil-rich Heglig region, a Sudanese newspaper has reported.

The Sudanese government said some of its soldiers were captured by South Sudanese troops and are being held at the hospital in Heglig and in the Abyad district.

The privately owned Intabaha newspaper quoted Sudanese foreign ministry spokesperson Al-Ebeid Morawah on Tuesday as saying that Sudan has called on the Red Cross to guarantee all the captives are safe and treated well.

Sudan said South Sudan had threatened to kill those captives, though no independent reports confirmed that.

South Sudan, which claimed its independence last July, held the captives after the Sudanese army withdrew from Heglig following an attack that brought the two countries on the brink of an all-out war.

Morawah told the paper that the Sudanese government has expressed concern to the Red Cross over images shown on South Sudan's Juba TV of Sudanese captives being held in the south.

The paper didn't provide details of all those captured whose images were shown on Juba TV.

Morawah said he expected the government's efforts to succeed, adding that the Sudanese government treats South Sudanese war prisoners according to international conventions.

Egypt has been highly concerned with the rising crisis between Sudan and South Sudan, which was about to break into a war last week.  

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr called on the two countries to get back to the negotiating table to settle all border issues.

South Sudan now controls about 75 percent of the 400,000 barrels of oil per day that the formerly united Sudan used to produce.

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