October 24, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) announced the release of a helicopter detained since 3 August in South Darfur.
- Crew members of an helicopter, two Ukrainians and a Sudanese, that were held captive since early August, sit in an hotel of the South Darfur state capital Nyala on August 28, 2013 (AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
The rebel group said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Thursday they have handed over to the African Union United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) a helicopter they held since two months ago after an emergency landing due to technical problems.
The SLM-MM "after completion of investigation by the competent organs, decided to release the plane and handed it over to the UNAMID and the company that owns the plane", said the military spokesperson Adam Saleh Abakr.
On 27 August, the SLM-MM released the three crew members, two Ukrainians and a Sudanese, after talks with Al-Dindir Aviation, owner of the MI-8 transport helicopter, used by a rations provider contracted by UNAMID.
The rebel group following the detention of the helicopter and its crew, 50 km south to Nyala, capital of South Darfur, pledged to free the plane and its crew if they find it has no relation with the government and its army.
The SLM-MM, in February 2011, broke a peace deal they had signed in 2006 after accusing the Sudanese government of failing to honour it. The rebel group is now a member of a rebel alliance, Sudanese Revolutionary Front which aims to topple the regime .