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Sudan’s JEM denies kidnapping oil workers in Kordofan

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April 20, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - Darfur’s rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has denied reports that it kidnapped 8 oil workers from Tiger oilfield in West Kordofan state.

Sudanese security sources in Khartoum on Saturday accused JEM of abducting 8 engineers including three foreign nationals working for the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC) from an area between Al-Muglad and Hegleg.

The same sources further affirmed that abductees were taken to South Sudan’s borders, saying the commander of the JEM force is named Hashim Ginzeer.

JEM’s spokesperson, Gibreel Adam Bilal, said in a statement extended Sunday to Sudan Tribune that his movement didn’t attack Tiger oilfield or kill or abduct Sudanese or foreign oil workers.

Bilal pointed that the armed group which attacked Tiger oilfield was led by Abu Ki’aan, describing the latter as an opportunist who split from JEM more than two years ago.

He claimed that Abu Ki’aan joined the government’s militias which are commanded by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

"Accordingly, NISS must be accused of this incident not JEM", he stressed.

The rebel official said that JEM doesn’t carry out such killings and abduction acts, adding when they attack any area they immediately issue statements declaring their actions.

In October 2007, JEM had abducted five oil workers in after an attack on Defra oil field but they were released one month later upon the request of the Egyptian government. One the kidnapped worker was an Egyptian national.

(ST)

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