February 27, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese authorities have denied military confrontations between the government army and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) inside the strategic town of Kurmuk in the Blue Nile state.
On Sunday 24 February 2013, SPLM-N spokesperson Arnu Ngutulu Lodi said their fighters were fighting inside Kurmuk and vowed they would control the area soon. Also, AFP reported that independent sources confirmed the clashes.
The National Intelligence and Security Services official in Kurumk, Abdel-Rahim Eissa, however told Ashoorq TV on Wednesday that the situation is calm and "all the rumours about the advance of SPLM-N forces towards Kurmuk are unfounded".
Kurmuk commissioner, Abdallah Al-Zain, addressing the residents of the town on the same day and pledged to provide them with free services like water and electricity until November.
The private TV channel nonetheless reported that the inhabitants demand that Kurmuk municipality administration exercise its duties from inside town and not from the neighbouring city of Damazin.
A reliable source told Sudan Tribune that the SPLM-N combatants who repelled an attack by the Sudanese army recently on their positions in Mafo, pushed into Kurmuk but their leadership ordered to stop the attack saying such attack implies prior important preparations.
When hostilities started between the two parties in September 2011, Kurmuk, which lies on the border with Ethiopia, was the main bastion of the SPLM-N rebels but the Sudanese army seized it two months later in November of the same year.