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SPLM-N rebels deny SAF recapture of eastern S. Kordofan

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April 17, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) denied statements by the Sudanese army about the defeat of its forces in eastern South Kordofan state claiming they are still controlling the area and accused Khartoum of targeting civilians.

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A SPLA-N fighter holds up his rifle near Jebel Kwo village in the rebel-held territory of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, 2 May 2012 (photo by Goran Tomasevic Reuters)

"Statements by the spokesperson of the National Congress Party (NCP) forces that they have cleared SPLA from eastern part including areas bordering South Sudan are a lie," said the SPLM-N official spokesperson Arnu Ngutulu Loddi, on Thursday.

Loddi added that the SPLA-N fighters still control most parts and able to defeat the Sudanese government troops.

Al-Sawarmi Khalid, spokesperson of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) stated on Wednesday that the army is now controlling all the eastern districts in the troubled state of South Kordofan including South Sudan border areas.

Arnu said the Sudanese army and the government militias attacked a number of villages in Rashad County of in the Nuba mountains using more than 300 land cruisers and tanks, in addition to air attacks.

The government forces, according to the rebel statement, committed atrocities and crimes against the civilians saying "women and children have been abducted and others killed". He further claimed that assailants looted livestock and food.

Last week the rebels accused Khartoum of planning to forcibly relocate civilians from rebel held areas.

The African Union mediation led by Thabo Mbeki invited the two parties to resume negotiations in Addis Ababa on 22 April.

Last February, the SPLM-N renewed its demand for holistic peace talks while the Sudanese government declared its approval for a draft framework agreement, proposed by the mediation, providing to limit discussions to the Twp Areas.

(ST)

Sudanese army clears rebels from eastern S. Kordofan: spokesperson

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