21 February 2013

Sudan: Battle in Kurmuk 'Ongoing', SAF Continues Air Strikes

Blue Nile / South Kordofan — The Secretary General of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N), Yasser Arman, stressed the movement's willingness to sign an agreement with the government in order to allow humanitarian aid organizations to access the area and provide the necessary aid in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

In an interview with the Washington Times Arman expressed the movement's readiness to sign a humanitarian agreement for secession of the hostilities, saying "We are ready to make a cessation of hostilities that will save the civilian population, create a conducive environment for a political settlement and put an effective demilitarized zone between the north and the south."

He added: "said the Sudanese leader is committing another war crime by bombarding civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile and denying them humanitarian aid. "This is the ugliest humanitarian crisis in Africa today," he said. "It needs the attention of the international community."

SPLM-N claims expelling government forces from Mapho

The SPLM-N announced on Wednesday expelling government forces from the area of Mapho in Blue Nile state.

Arno Ngutulu Lodi, the movement's military spokesman confirmed that the battle with government forces is ongoing around the outskirts of Kurmuk. Lodi stated that the Sudan Air Force (SAF) is bombarding the whole southern Blue Nile 'every hour'.

Sudanese army spokesman, Colonel El-Sawarmi Khalid Saad, acknowledged pulling out of Mapho after suffering 'big losses'. The spokesman said in a statement issued on Wednesday that the armed forces fought for three hours and the troops were forced to withdraw due to a lack of ammunition and added that the large number of troops were 'rebels backed by foreign elements'.

Air strike claims 5 lives, injures 10

Hashim Orta, Humanitarian Affairs official in Blue Nile, has revealed that air strikes south of Kurmuk claimed the lives of five people and injured 10 others. He added that more than 10,000 citizens have fled to Ethiopia and South Sudan, as well as the displacement of large numbers to the areas Mick, Magu, Rum, Shaly and El-Feel southeast Kurmuk.

Moreover, he stated that the newly displaced persons are facing critical humanitarian conditions due to a lack of water, food and health care.

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