The Foreign Office confirmed on Sunday that a British national has been arrested by Sudan’s security forces along its oil-rich Heglig border area with South Sudan.
Sudan’s army spokesman Colonel Sawarmi Khalid said the Briton was part of a team of four including Norwegian, South African and South Sudanese nationals who were equipped with military hardware and an armored vehicle.
Heglig was captured by South Sudan forces earlier this month but Sudanese forces later retook the strategic area.
London has repeatedly expressed support for South Sudan since its secession from Sudan in July 2011 but it has claimed the support remains within humanitarian frameworks.
At the time of Heglig’s capture by the South, Sudanese government said “foreigners” were involved in the operation.
Now it appears that they were right and Britain is delivering more than humanitarian aid to the south.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said one day after South Sudan’s independence that London will support the new republic and expressed “optimism” for its future.
Hague indirectly pointed to London’s awareness of South Sudan’s massive wealth of resources.
“Sudan has good economic prospects with its abundant mineral wealth and huge potential in agriculture and forestry. Africa as a whole has three fifths of the world’s uncultivated arable land, a fifth of the world’s copper and half of the world’s gold… So the UK will focus on helping South Sudan build its private sector, boost revenues and the economy and trade with its neighbors,” he wrote in an article for Huffington Post on July 11,2011.