11:53 GMT25 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian nationals who were briefly detained in South Sudan were released after the country’s government learned about their arrest and called on security agencies to free them, South Sudan’s ambassador to Russia, Chol Tong Mayay Jang, said on Thursday, adding that the whole situation can be described as a "misunderstanding."

    "They were released yesterday after the government in Juba learned about the arrest asked the security organs to release them, so they were released and put in a hotel, and today they will be in Juba. I think it was a small misunderstanding," the diplomat said.

    The ambassador also mentioned that Varlamov, Verzilov and others who were detained never processed their travel documents at the South Sudanese embassy in Moscow and he does not know where they obtained visas.

    The diplomat urged all Russian tourists wishing to travel to South Sudan to apply for visas at the embassy.

    On Wednesday, popular Russian blogger Ilya Varlamov said that he was detained in the African country, alongside his wife, political activist Pyotr Verzilov and two other Russians. The South Sudanese military had concerns regarding a drone remote control that they found in the travellers' bags.

    Several hours after Varlamov's announcement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the travellers had been released. The released Russian travellers plan to leave South Sudan for Moscow on Friday.

    arrest, blogger, ambassador, South Sudan
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