13 January 2013

Sudan: SPLM-N Confirm Fresh Attacks in South Kordofan, Deny Killing of 50 Rebels

Khartoum — Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) confirmed attacks on the positions of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in different areas located east of the capital of South Kordofan State last Friday but denied that the army killed 50 of its fighters.

Al-Sawarmi Khaled, SAF spokesperson said on Friday that the SPLM-N shelled Hamra and El-Ahmier, 15 kilometres east of Kaduglei before to launch a ground attack on Hamra. He added that the Sudanese troops repulsed the assailant and killed 50 rebels besides destroying four tanks.

In a statement he emailed to Sudan Tribune on Saturday, SPLM-N spokesperson Arno Londi said they shelled three positions, Hamra, El-Ahmier and Seref which is located inside Kadugli. He further said their forces launched a ground attack on SAF positions in El-Ahmier.

Arno stressed that SPLM-N forces killed 43 Sudanese soldiers and destroyed two tanks, four vehicles and a big truck.

He said they lost eight fighters and 21 other suffered minor wounds.

Arno also denied Al-Sawarmi's claims that four SPLM-N tanks were destroyed, insisting they lost only two tanks and destroyed two SAF tanks.

The rebel official on the other hand said Friday's attacks were in response to the air raids by the Sudanese army targeting civilians in the rebel controlled areas.

He warned that similar attacks will be conducted in the future "as long as (the Sudanese army forces) continue to attack unarmed civilians."

On Friday Al-Sourami stated that the aim of the rebel attack, was " to occupy advanced positions enabling them to shell Kadugli and targeting innocent citizens."

SPLM-N launched several mortars attacks on the state's capital in October and November 2012 where a number of civilians were killed and wounded.

The rebels said they want to export the conflict to the government controlled towns and to force the Sudanese army to stop air raids targeting civilians in their areas.

The African mediation team failed to organize direct negotiations between the two parties on humanitarian access to the rebels areas or a political solution to the conflict, which started in June 2011.

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