Crew members of UN helicopter returned safely in South Sudan

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A WFP-operated helicopter in South Sudan. Photo: WFP/George Fominyen

Six Bulgarian crew members of a UN food agency's helicopter who disappeared in Sudan last week have been handed over to the United Nations.

The helicopter, which was flying from South Sudan to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan for regular maintenance was forced to land by the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLM-N) in Sudan's South Kordofan state.

Derrick Mbatha reports.

The World Food Programme (WFP) says the crew members reached its office in Yida near the border with South Kordofan state on Monday morning.

According to the agency, a group known as the New Sudan Women's League says its members engaged with the SPLM-N to arrange the return of the crew.

WFP says it worked together with authorities in both Sudan and South Sudan to locate and recover the crew when contact with the helicopter was lost.

It thanked in particular the government of Sudan for its support in working for the safe return of the crew.

WFP-contracted helicopters are playing a critical role in transporting humanitarian aid in South Sudan where a conflict broke out between government and opposition forces in December 2013.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’06″

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