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247 Sudanese miners released by Algeria arrive in Khartoum

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January 15, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The first batch of the Sudanese miners who were detained in Algeria for several months and released last week has arrived in Khartoum Friday morning.

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Sudanese gold miners arrive at Khartoum airport on January 15, 2016 (Photo Ashorooq TV)

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir had raised the issue of the detention of the Sudanese miners with his Algerian counterpart during their summit meeting in October. President Boutafliqa had promised to free the miners who illegally entered his country in search of gold.

The first batch of the released which included 247 miners was received at Khartoum airport by officials from several government bodies including the Organization of Sudanese Expatriates Affairs (OSEA), National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and the Ministry of Interior.

The deputy Secretary General of the OSEA Abdel-Rahman Sid Ahmed said their participation in the reception of the miners falls within the framework of the work of the national mechanism for protecting the Sudanese abroad.

For his part, the counselor at the Sudanese embassy in Algeria Ahmed Abdel-Gadir al-Amin said the miners were arrested by the Algerian authorities because they crossed the Algerian borders from Niger during their search for gold, noting the Algerian government considered them illegal migrants.

He pointed the Sudanese embassy in Algeria made significant efforts leading to the decision of President Boutafliqa to pardon 247 miners, saying the embassy is following-up on the procedures to secure the release of another 42 miners within a few days.

The released miners expressed satisfaction to return to Sudan and thanked the two governments for securing their release, pointing they were among illegal migrants from 27 nations who are still in Algeria’s prisons.

(ST)

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