South Sudanese rebels demand $200,000 compensation to release Kenyan pilots

The two were abducted after their plane crashed in the rebel-controlled territory Upper Nile state

The two were abducted after their plane crashed in the rebel-controlled territory Upper Nile state claiming one life. A few cows were also killed in the crash whereas two huts and the airport's perimeter fence were destroyed.

“They (Kenyan leaders) have to write an official letter to Dr. Riek Machar and it will come to us to inform of an order, then we will release him," Lam Paul Gabriel, the rebels’ deputy spokesman told Reuters.

South Sudan’s military spokesman confirmed the two pilots were being held.

“The plane had a technical problem. It crash-landed and killed a person on the ground,” said Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang.

“The (rebel) SPLA-IO-appointed governor of the area has demanded the ransom of $200,000 which is beyond normal compensation for any person killed,” he added.

The Kenyan foreign ministry said it was unable to comment.

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