April 6, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The government of North Darfur has announced that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has recaptured the Bir Maza and Bir Deek areas from rebel groups, declaring that the latter had lost their last strongholds in the state.
State defence minister Yahiya Mohamed Khair and North Darfur governor Muhammad Osman Youssef Kibir visited the two areas following their recapture and distributed humanitarian assistance to the affected population.
Kibir said the two areas represent the last strongholds of the rebel groups which he said are “in their weakest state”.
He went on to say that SAF’s recent victories represent the beginning of the end of the rebel groups, underscoring the government’s keenness to provide security, stability and basic services for people in the two areas.
The governor further said that residents of Bir Miza and Bir Deek have become safe and would not be endangered again.
The rebel Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) carried out attacks in South and North Darfur states triggering reprisal attacks by government militias on villages suspected of support to the rebels. These attacks coincided with tribal clashes in the North Darfur state.
The violence displaced over 215,000 civilians in the state.
Last month, the head of Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), Tijani El-Sissi warned against the rapidly deteriorating security situation in North and South Darfur states and criticised government for failing to restore security in the region, which has witnessed rebellion since 2003.
Sissi further said that insecurity in North and South Darfur hampers the implementation of development projects.
“What happens there will not be a catalyst to start in any reconstruction effort in those areas,” he added.
The leader of the former rebel Liberation and Equality Movement (LJM) urged the federal government to take the necessary measures to contain the attacks carried by the rebel groups, emphasising that the continuation of the current situation without decisive riposte or political solution will negatively impact the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) and the country in general.