Sudan releases aid workers

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John Sörbö, the Norwegian mine-clearing expert who worked for Norwegian People’s Aid, and three of his colleagues were released from jail in Sudan over the weekend, after heavy pressure from the United Nations, Norwegian authorities and the African Union.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, currently in Chicago for the NATO summit meeting, thanked former South African President Thabo Mbeki for helping win the aid workers’ release. “We’re happy Sörbö has been released,” Støre told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “Good dialogue with the authorities in Sudan has, since the arrests, contributed to the solution.”

The four men were arrested on April 28 after allegedly crossing the border illegally into Sudan from South Sudan, where they’d been working. The border area is in dispute.

Norway’s embassy in Khartoum had monitored the jail conditions and had frequent contact with Sörbö, who was said to be in good health. The men were reportedly treated well during their incarceration.

The terms of their release were not immediately clear, nor was it known when Sörbö would return to Norway, but authorities hoped he’d be flown out of Khartoum Monday morning.

Views and News staff