November 18, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — The spokesperson of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) Sunday dismissed statements by a rebel group about a rocket attack on the capital of North Darfur state on Friday evening.
- Sudanese army spokesperson Khaled Al-Sawarmi (Reuters)
The Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) said on Saturday that it shelled Al-Fasher claiming that its rockets reached Al-Fasher airport, a military area and the town’s prison.
Reports from the town say two rockets exploded outside Al-Fasher, and the airport director denied that any shell reached the site, reaffirming that the air traffic is normal.
Al-Sawarmi Khaled, the SAF spokesperson, said the security situation inside and around Al-Fasher is very quiet adding that the army is vigilant and ready to protect civilians in the state capital.
He added that what happened on Friday that a SAF patrol outside Al-Fasher clashed at 25 kilometers with a SLM-MM force aiming to shell military sites in the town.
The regular forces managed to repel the assailant rebels who left behind large quantities of ammunition, Al-Sawarmi said, adding: "Our troops used the artillery to destroy the fugitive force".
The rebel SLM-MM and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) previously claimed it had carried out rocket attacks on Al-Fasher, where African Union United National peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) has its headquarters.
Darfur rebel groups and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - North formed last year a rebel alliance and vowed to export the conflict to army’s positions.
The government has signed two peace deals with two different rebel groups. The first in May 2006 with the SLM-MM and the second with Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) of Tijani Al-Sissi in July 2011.
Minnawi broke Abuja agreement officially in February 2011, as JEM refused to signed the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur. The SLM of Abdel Wahid Al-Nur only participated in the first peace process in Abuja and did not attend the negotiations in Doha.