KIEV, August 28 (Itar-Tass) - Ukrainian pilots of a Mi-8 helicopter that were captured in the Sudanese province of Darfur in early August, were set free, Director of the information policy department of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Yevgeny Perebeinos told reporters on Wednesday. “The Sudanese Foreign Ministry confirmed that two Ukrainian citizens onboard the helicopter, which was making flights within the U.N. mission in Darfur and has made an emergency landing on August 3, were set free on Tuesday,” he said. “They are staying in the Sudanese city of Nyala and will be brought to Khartoum soon,” he noted. In his words, the pilots are in satisfactory condition.
The helicopter Mi-8, which was chartered by the private Kuwaiti company from the Russian air carrier, was delivering the food for the peacekeeping UN Mission and the African Union in Darfur. On August 3, the helicopter has made an emergency landing over the bad weather, 50 kilometers southeast of the city of Nyala. Three crewmen, namely two Ukrainian pilots and a Sudanese flight engineer were detained by members of the Sudanese Liberation Army-Minni Minawi.
The situation with Ukrainian pilots is under constant control of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Perebeinos said.