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Kenyan pilots freed after paying compensation: rebel official

February 21, 2018 (JUBA) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by the former First Vice President Riek Machar, Wednesday, confirmed the release of two Kenyan pilots held for killing a civilian as a result for the crush of their plane last month.

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Lam Paul Gabriel

SPLM-IO deputy spokesperson Col. Lam Paul Gabriel has told Sudan Tribune that both the relatives and airline company have come to the consensus with the relatives of the deceased and properties owners.

He said the two pilots were released on Monday after paying one hundred, seven thousand, seven hundred and forty-three dollars ( $107,743) for all the damages caused by the crush.

The owner of properties and the relative of the fallen woman were demanding about $ 200,000, but Lam said the two parties had come to a compromise over the amount of compensation.

Also, the rebel official denied that his group had received any commission on the deal.

“This compensation went to the family of the deceased and the owners of properties damaged by the crush, but not to SPLA-IO,” he said when asked by Sudan Tribune.

He stressed that they only wanted to provide protection to the foreigners’ pilots and facilitate their release.

“The SPLA-IO is glad that this issue has been resolved between the relative of decease and owners of properties by reaching a consensus on the amount of money,” he said.

In early January, the plane, which was charted by a local organization based in Juba, crushed in Akobo town in the Greater Upper Nile region.

Kenyan media confirmed the arrival to Nairobi of the two pilots identified as Captain Pius Frank Njoroge and co-pilot Kennedy Shamalla.

Recently, Kenyan Pilots Association threatened to suspend commercial and chartered flights to South Sudan.

(ST)