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Sudan monitoring group warns of potential military assault on S. Kordofan

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October 21, 2013 (WASHINGTON) - The Sudanese army may be readying its forces for a fresh military campaign in the border state of South Kordofan, a monitoring group said on Tuesday.

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"Satellite images reviewed by DigitalGlobe Analytics show unusually high levels of activity at several Sudan Armed Forces, or SAF, military installations in Sudan’s North and South Kordofan states, which could signal planned deployments toward several locations, including the highly contested Abyei area," said the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), which Hollywood actor George Clooney founded in 2010 along with Enough project co-founder John Prendergast.

SSP said that one set of imagery shows SAF air power in El Obeid Air Base in North Kordofan which usually consists of bomber jets being beefed up with attack helicopters, a close-air-support aircraft and a transport aircraft.

"The number of aircraft at Kadugli Air Base in South Kordofan has almost tripled, with the usual three to four attack helicopters now supplemented by three additional helicopters and two transport aircraft. A probable Motorized Infantry Battalion at Kordofan Garrison staging base has increased in size to levels last observed in April 2013, during the height of the rebel incursions in Abu Kershola," it added.

"The number of tanks has more than tripled at El Obeid Headquarters Garrison, and the number of heavy equipment transporters and armored personnel carriers has grown, signaling a level of activity that has not been observed in the past year".

The group also noted that satellite imagery confirms earlier reports of destruction inflicted on a crossing known as Buram bridge last September which now isolates the towns of Tess and Buram held by the rebel Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) and leaves civilians vulnerable to SAF attack.

"The destruction of Buram bridge, the increased troop buildup, and the appearance of new ground and air materiel at several military installations collectively point to a possible new SAF military campaign before the end of the rainy season. Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese civilians in South Kordofan are potentially at risk" SSP said in the statement.

"This buildup directly threatens vulnerable Sudanese civilians in South Kordofan. The re-positioned aerial assets at El Obeid and Kadugli potentially also signal a threat to Abyei, where tensions are running high ahead of a planned Ngok Dinka unilateral referendum".

Prendergast was quoted as saying that the military buildup "is a chilling indication of what could quickly escalate, particularly with the planned referendum in Abyei. The international community must send a strong signal to the Sudanese government it will not tolerate attacks on innocent Sudanese civilians and the deliberate destruction of homes and farmland”.

Since 2011, the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile have been witnessing armed conflict between the SPLM-N and SAF.

The Sudanese government have consistently accused its southern neighbor of backing the rebels and insist that they remained connected to the South Sudan army despite Juba’s assertions to the contrary.

After almost two years of stonewalling, Khartoum agreed to negotiate with SPLM-N regarding ending the military conflict in these two areas. But the talks which took place in April adjourned without any breakthrough and it is not clear when they may resume.

Khartoum insists that the dialogue would be held under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which led to South Sudan’s separation in 2011 a referendum returned a vote overwhelmingly in favor of the move.

The SPLM-N on the other hand wants the talks under last year’s United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution which said negotiations should occur on the basis of an agreement the rebels signed in June 2011 with Sudanese presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie which was later scrapped by president Omer Hassan al-Bashir.

Bashir announced last June that he is ending dialogue with rebel groups in the wake of their assault on several towns in north and south Kordofan.

(ST)

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  • 22 October 2013 11:20, by Logic

    It doesn’t matter what the PUSSYCAT SAF does, they will ultimately lose in the end. These brainwashed jihadists are fighting for an unjust cause hence their demise is inevitable, even if a hundred years from now.

    repondre message

  • 22 October 2013 11:30, by sudani ana

    I am fed up with these hypocrats and enemies of my country. Sudan is a sovereign country and has the right to defend it’s territory against armed rebels. Where was these organisations when the rebels mobilizd their forces and attacked abu kershoula and Om Ruaba ???. Did your satilite not pick up images of their forces advancing towards these towns??????

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    • 22 October 2013 12:27, by sudani ana

      Sudan should work with our international friends to acquire the necessary technology to shoot down this damn spy satalite out of the sky. Why should a civilian organisation and a stupid actor be allowed to spy on us and jeopardise our national security?

      repondre message

      • 22 October 2013 13:34, by sudani ana

        Go on our brave SAF soldiers, crush those rebels and restore peace and tranquility to our beautiful state of South Kordufan. This is the new Sudan, there is no place for rebels and traitors who have defiled our beautiful country. This time we want Kauda back to the bossom of the country. Leave no armed rebel on our sacred land.

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  • 22 October 2013 11:38, by tootke’bai-ngo

    this is what they do, signed a peace & plan an attack behind you, I thought Bashir agreed to polio vaccination to those areas just days ago,now he is planning to masscreing them, same children suppose to be save from polio. Where is the world? Goerge? I personally appreciate all efforts you & Enough are exerting. However, world has to come together & do more to stop this bloodyhands criminal Bashi

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  • 22 October 2013 11:40, by Akol Liai Mager

    North Sudan is badly wounded and those who are dealing with it must exercise maximum precautions. Sudan is so wounded to the extent that, it is a time interval that separate us from seeing Surgeons carrying out multiple amputations. Darfur, South Kordofan, South Blue Nile and far east are likely to be amputated soon if NIF fugitives are not dealt with and send to The Hague for rest of their lives.

    repondre message

  • 22 October 2013 11:50, by tootke’bai-ngo

    Fake Sudani, whatever you call yourself,
    if your infidels filthy cocroaches touch Abyei this time, that will be the time SPLA-N CAPTURE Khortoum, S.Sudan will support them openly not only with all anti-aircrafts & tanks but also with MEN. No one care about oil money in S.Sudan since we already know how to deal with austerity which are still in place. George clooney is trying to safe your asses.

    repondre message

  • 22 October 2013 11:59, by tootke’bai-ngo

    ...from the trouble, try it but it will not go down well time, Pathou,kafia kingi, Afro nas upton Meriam will be liberated for good that day.
    I like your stupid continuity occupation of S.Sudan’s territories, that is a prefect justification to helped SPLA-N get their rights.

    repondre message

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