Sudan hijackers free passengers but hold crew
Wednesday 27 August 2008
The hijackers of a Sudanese plane that was forced to land in Libya freed all the passengers on Wednesday but still held six crew members, Libya's aviation authority said.
The airliner was seized on Tuesday after leaving Sudan's war-battered Darfur region for Khartoum and was forced to land at the remote Sahara desert oasis of Kufrah.
Libya's Civil Aviation Authority said 95 passengers had been on the Boeing 737/200, all of them Sudanese except two Egyptian police officers, two Ethiopians and one Ugandan. It said they were all freed along with two female crew members. Six crew were still being held.
"Negotiations are continuing with the hijackers in order to free the remaining crew members and for the hijackers to give themselves up," Libyan state news agency Jana quoted Mohamed Shlibek, the head of the authority, as saying.
He said the hijackers had reiterated their demand for the plane to be refuelled to fly to Paris. Sudan's Civil Aviation Authority said the two hijackers had demanded refugee status there.
"They have asked for asylum rights, refugee status. That was their first demand," said spokesman Abdel Hafiz Abdel Rahim. The identity of the hijackers was unclear.
Libya's state news agency said the pilot had told Libyan authorities they were from a branch of the Sudanese Liberation Movement (SLM), a Darfur rebel group, and wanted to meet their leader Abdel Wahed Mohammed al-Nur in Paris. But Nur's faction strongly denied the hijackers were its members.
Another SLM faction that signed a 2006 deal with Khartoum, which was rejected by Nur, said the passengers on the hijacked plane included seven of its officers, three of them members of a transitional Darfur regional government.
"We are very, very concerned and are doing all we can to contact them," said Mohammed Bashir, a senior member of the faction led by Minni Arcua Minnawi, which was the only Darfur rebel group to sign the peace deal.
Darfur has been riven by conflict since a rebellion against Khartoum's rule broke out more than five years ago. International experts say more than 2.5 million Darfuris have been driven from their homes and 200,000 people killed. Sudan puts the death toll at about 10,000. The insurgents are split into numerous factions.
The plane took off from the South Darfur capital, Nyala, bound for Khartoum. Libya granted permission for the plane to land after the pilot said it was running out of fuel, Libya's state news agency said.
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
- 4 John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Peaches Geldof cause of death: Socialite had taken fatal dose of heroin after years of addiction, inquest concludes
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...
£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...
£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...