China's working group arrives in Sudan
Updated: 2012-02-01 09:43
KHARTOUM - A Chinese team arrived in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Tuesday to help rescue the Chinese workers who are missing or held hostage after an attack on a Chinese company camp in South Kordofan state.
Qiu Xuejun, the head of the six-member team, told Xinhua that they are to assist the Chinese embassy in the rescue operation as well as to hold consultations with Sudanese authorities.
He said the Chinese government is greatly concerned about the safety of the Chinese workers and an emergency mechanism has been activated for the rescue of the workers.
The north sector of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) on Saturday attacked the Chinese company camp. A spokesman of the group confirmed on Sunday that they were holding 29 Chinese nationals.
"Armed clashes took place between our forces and the Sudanese army at an area near Al-Abbasiya Tagali town in South Kordofan. We took control of the area and 29 Chinese were seized," Arno Taloudy, the SPLA spokesman, told Xinhua on phone from Nairobi in Kenya.
"The Chinese workers have been transported to a safe area and they are in good health," he added.
South Kordofan, located on the Sudan-South Sudan border, has been witnessing armed clashes between the Sudanese army and the SPLA's northern sector since June last year when the south declared independence.
Khartoum accuses Juba of supporting the SPLA forces and has ordered the rebels to disarm or leave all the areas within Sudan's territories.