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97 Chinese workers evacuated from S Sudan to Khartoum

Updated: 2013-12-25 20:45
( Xinhua)

KHARTOUM -- A total of 97 Chinese oil workers on Wednesday arrived in the Sudanese capital Khartoum after being evacuated from South Sudan due to the widespread clashes there.

The workers of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) were operating at the Fuluj oil field in South Sudan's Upper Nile state, where the South Sudanese army have confirmed clashes are raging between them and some defectors.

Two more batches of Chinese workers, 97 and 110 in headcount, are expected to arrive in Khartoum later.

The first batch of the Chinese workers were received at Khartoum airport by Chinese Ambassador to Sudan Luo Xiaoguang and an official from CNPC.

Luo commended the Sudanese government for its role in facilitating the evacuation of the Chinese workers to Khartoum.

CNPC Chief Representative in Sudan Zhao Dong, meanwhile, told Xinhua: "According to the arrangements by South Sudan's Petroleum Ministry, oil wells in remote areas have been shut down, and the operations at those fields have been halted and the workers have been evacuated on a contingency plan."

South Sudan has been witnessing violent clashes between government troops and forces loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar.

The defecting groups have taken control of oil-rich Unity state, which led to the stoppage of the area's oil production that stood at about 45,000 barrels per day.

South Sudan army has confirmed ongoing clashes in Malakal, capital of oil-rich Upper Nile state, while some reports said the city fell into the hands of the defectors. The state produced most of South Sudan's oil, about 200,000 barrels per day.

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