South Sudan rebels release seven aid workers

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) on Sunday announced the release of seven aid workers upon directives from the group leader Riek Machar.

The rebel spokesman Lam Paul Gabriel told the Reuters news agency the workers were released to a UN delegation near the border with Uganda and Ugandan police had witnessed the handover. The workers were detained for nearly three weeks in the country’s Central Equatorial region on accusations of spying for the government

South Sudan has been gripped by conflict since 2013 after a disagreement between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar deteriorated into a military confrontation.

The war has since killed tens of thousands of people, including nearly 100 relief workers and displaced over one third of the South Sudan’s 12 million population.

In one of the latest incidents, an aid worker was killed when gunmen shot at a vehicle marked with logos of the Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid as it travelled on a road near the town of Bentiu on March

Gabriel has called on the humanitarian groups to avoid ‘’being infiltrated ‘’ by the government security agencies.