South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.
The rebels loyal to former deputy president Riek Machar freed the hostages - two Indians and one Pakistani – based on a direct order from Machar, according to the Sudan news agency.
The engineers, who are employed with the DAR Petroleum Operating Company, were unharmed, said Arik.
The company, which has Chinese and Malaysian ownership, did not comment on the release on Friday.
It remained unclear on Friday if a demanded ransom of 1 million dollars had been paid to secure the release.