South Sudan rebels say seize four oil workers, demand firm's exit

South Sudan rebels say seize four oil workers, demand firm's exit

South Sudanese rebels have kidnapped four oil workers including a Pakistani engineer, in a bid to force their Chinese and Malaysian consortium to leave the country.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, but it has been a bloody road to establishing a stable government whose budget is dependent nearly entirely on oil revenues.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Tuesday, Lam Paul Gabriel, the SPLA-IO deputy spokesman, said they had captured the four engineers working for DAR Petroleum Operating Company at Gumbri area in Upper Nile State on Sunday, and accused them of working with the government.

There was no immediate comment from DAR, a consortium including China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China´s Sinopec and Malaysia´s Petronas. South Sudan has been marred by ethnic tension and civil war since 2013.

The family of Ayaz Jamali including his father, mother and sisters have appealed to Pakistan's Federal Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, CM Sindh, former Speaker National Assembly, MNA, Dr. Fehmida Mirza and others to take up the issue on diplomatic levels with Government of South Sudan for safe and early recovery of Jamali.

"There are no conditions for their release, but we want to make it clear to their country of residence and the government that we do not want their company to operate in South Sudan", he told Reuters.

The kidnapping came just over two weeks after two Indian employees of South Sudan´s petroleum ministry were seized in northeast Maiwut county.

Last week, the International Organisation for Migration said gunmen attacked an aid convoy in the centre of the country, killing two people and wounding three.