9 January 2013

Sudan: Rebel Group Denies Govt Recaptured Position

Khartoum — A rebel group reiterated that its fighters still control a position in Central Darfur taken recently and denied statements published in Khartoum that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) recaptured the area.

A picture provided by the SLM-AW rebels showing an armoured vehicle they captured on 24 Dec in Golo

The Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur (SLM-AW) seized Jaldo (or Guldo as it appears in some maps), eastward to Zalingei capital of Central Darfur state, on 28 December after taking a town in the same area called Golo on 24 December.

On 29 December, Defence minister Abdel Rahim Hussein told the parliament the rebels were repulsed and SAF had only operated a tactical withdrawal.

Nimir Abdel Rahman, SLM-AW spokesperson, on Monday 7 January said they repelled an attack by the Sudanese troops stressing that it was the first time the government attempt to retake this position.

He also said that Golo remains their target.

Nonetheless on Wednesday SAF spokesperson Khaled Al-Sawarmi told the pro-government Sudanese Media Service that Jaldo is in the hands of Sudanese soldiers, adding they killed more than 30 rebels.

Reacting to Sawarmi's statements, Nimir told Sudan Tribune "We confirm that none of these statements are accurate".

"They do not even admit that we seized these positions. They speak about tactical withdrawal or repulsing an attack on Jaldo and Golo, but never say we are now there", Nimir added.

In a meeting with the acting UNAMID chief, Aichatou Mindaoudou, who was in Zalingei to discuss the security situation there, the governor of Central Darfur state, Yousif Tibin, confirmed that the rebels taken control of the towns of Golo and Rockero in west Jebel Marra, the hybrid mission said.

"He also stated that approximately 850 families had been displaced and fled to Nertiti village as a result of the fighting, while others are believed to be wandering in the mountains seeking safety," UNAMID said in a statement released on Wednesday.

The rebel spokesperson asserted they will move soon to big town in Darfur as part of their plans with other rebel groups to topple the regime.

Mindaoudou during her visit Zalingei censured the ongoing clashes which affect the civilians and force them to flee their villages. She also assured the Wali of UNAMID's continued humanitarian to the needy population.

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