March 14, 2017 (JUBA) - The South Sudanese government has issued a statement calling for the regional condemnation and along with blacklisting the former First Vice President turned rebel leader, Riek Machar for kidnapping two Indian oil workers.
“the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) calls upon the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to condemn Riek Machar and his followers and blacklist them as a terrorist negative force. The IGAD should ensure the safety and unconditional release of the oil workers,” says a statement obtained by the Sudan Tribune on March 13 states.
Edward and Ganesh were the two Indian nationals, who were stopped and kidnapped on March 8 at Adar oil fields while they were on their routine duties.
The statement from the TGoNU was a reaction after the armed opposition released a statement saying they had captured two oil workers at Guelguk.
“The Transitional Government of National Unity of the Republic of South Sudan has learnt with dismay the kidnapping of the two Indian nationals who were on their routine duty to the field when their car was stopped by outlaws and terrorist elements belonging to renegade Riek Machar, who is operating in Maiwut state,” it added.
The statement further called for the release of the Indian nationals immediately, calling upon the IGAD to condemn Riek Machar and his followers and blacklist them as terrorists.
The government has said that the rebels are demanding a ransom of $1 million USD. They, however, refuse to pay the ransom.
According to a statement, the TGoNU said it has rejected a claim made by members of the armed opposition fighters who have demanded a million-dollar ransom to ensure the release of the abducted oil workers.
“TGoNU is bound by international law and UN resolutions to counter terrorist financing. The government is not ready to pay a ransom that encourages terrorist acts,” the statement stressed.
The government further reiterated its determination to implement the peace agreement with the aid of the IGAD which mediated the negotiations.