December 13, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese army is dispatching heavy reinforcements to South Kordofan in order to defeat the rebellion and increase security in the border region, the country’s defense minister Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein has announced.
- Sudanese defence minister Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein (REUTERS)
In a visit to South Kordofan’s capital Kadugli on Thursday, Hussein told reporters that the federal government will support the conflict-hit state with “heavy military reinforcements and unlimited support” to defeat the rebellion and increase safe areas.
His visit and comments followed reports by the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army North (SPLM/A-N) that their forces defeated attempts on Monday by government forces to capture Daldoka village southeast of Kadugli and inflicted heavy losses on them.
According to the rebels’ spokesperson Arnu Loddi, government forces fled the battlefield leaving 27 dead bodies behind while their forces captured three prisoners and military materiel including five tanks.
The government has not commented on the claims of the insurgents.
In contrast, Hussein said that South Kordofan was witnessing great stability and that the roads between towns and trade movement were safe. He confirmed that the extra troops will help to enforce full control over the state.
South Kordofan governor Ahmad Haroun said that the minister of defense has come to his state leading a military delegation ahead of the arrival of the reinforcements which will increase security and “purge the state of SPLA-N mercenaries”
“We are now safer than any time before” he told reporters.
Fighting in South Kordofan has escalated in recent months and the insurgents managed to shell Kadugli a number of times.
Sudanese government forces appear increasingly incapable of defeating the rebellion of the SPLA/M-N despite Khartoum’s assertions to the contrary. Khartoum refuses to enter negotiations with the insurgents saying they are supported by neighboring South Sudan and demands that Juba sever ties with the SPLA-N that once formed part of South Sudan’s army before its secession from Sudan.
Sudan has been insisting that South Sudan disarms SPLA-N saying that it will not allow Juba to resume exporting its oil via Sudanese territories unless it complies with this condition. South Sudan described Khartoum’s demand as “impossible” and offered to mediate between Sudan and the SPLA-N.