investment in the African state has claimed responsibility for killing five Chinese workers out of nine kidnapped last week.

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry has blamed the Justice and Equality Movement, a Darfur rebel group, for the attacks. Two of the hostages have escaped while the remaining two are still with their kidnappers who are growing increasingly active in the energy-producing state of South Kordofan.

The Chinese workers were taken while working near a small oil field operated by the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC), a consortium led by China’s CNPC. The consortium, which includes India’s ONGC, Malaysia’s Petronas and Sudan’s Sudapet, accounts for more than 60% of Sudan’s 500,000 b/d of oil production.

Rebels fighting the government have demanded that China, the biggest foreign investor in Sudan, leave the country.