June 6, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese government forces have retaken a new area in South Kordofan state from the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N), announced the military spokesperson in Khartoum on Friday.
- SAF soldiers and RSF militamen stand guard after recapturing the Daldako area, east of Kadogli May 20, 2014. (Photo Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
“The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) today (Friday) at 12:00pm entered into Alatamor area” in South Kordofan state, said al-Sawarmi Khaled Sa’ad in a statement released in the afternoon.
Alatamor is located between Um Sirdiba and Dalko, east to the state capital Kadugli. The army already retook the control of Dalko on 18 May.
The SPLM-N spokesperson Arnu Ngutulu Lodi confirmed the capture saying their forces has "withdrawn tactically”.
Alatmor is located 93 kilometres from Kauda, a stronghold rebel town where are the military and political headquarters of the SPLM-N.
The Sudanese army and the RSF militia are conducting a military campaign against the rebel held areas in South Kordofan. Sudanese officials say the ‘Decisive Summer’ operation aims to dislodge SPLM-N from Kauda.
Sa’ad said that the rebel fighters withdrew from the area leaving behind a number of dead bodies, adding that the government forces have lost a number of soldiers without elaborating on the number of victims from both sides.
He further said that they seized "a large amount of military equipment, including large mortars, guns, and a considerable number of small arms and ammunition".
Lodi from his side told Sudan Tribune that Sudanese army “suffered heavy losses in lives”, and vowed to drive out the government troops from the area soon. “They will not stay long time” he asserted.
He said this is not the first time that Alatmor changes hands during the 3-year war in South Kordofan.
On 5 June the SPLM-N released a statement on the 3rd anniversary of the armed conflict in South Kordofan which erupted following the contested election of the candidate of the National Congress Party (NCP) Ahamed Haroun in May 2011.
Efforts by the African Union mediation have so far failed to end the conflict as thousands of civilians were forced to flee the war zones and moved to other towns inside the country or sought refuge in South Sudan and Ethiopia.
The talks is stalled over a draft framework agreement proposed by the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP). The document provides to negotiate a peaceful settlement for the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, but the SPLM-N demands a comprehensive process including Darfur rebel groups.
The two parties had to meet on 25 May but the panel did not invite the antagonists to join the negotiating table, considering the gabs are still too big between them.