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Sudan army, SPLM-N trade allegations over recent clashes

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December 1, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) blamed each other for military clashes which erupted on Monday in Alahimar area in South Kordofan state with each side claiming control of it.

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SPLM-N fighters hold up their rifles near Jebel Kwo village in the rebel-held territory of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan on 2 May 2012 (Photo: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

The Sudanese government and the SPLM-N entered into eight negotiation rounds in Addis Ababa that yielded little progress.

SAF spokesman Colonel al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad said in a statement that “at the time when the government is negotiating with the SPLM-N on the two regions in Addis Ababa hoping to reach a comprehensive peace, the SPLM-N infiltrated across the mountains at 5 am on Monday morning with an attack on Alahimr area in South Kordofan in an attempt to enter it and grab it”.

He said that SAF repelled the "treacherous" SPLA attack leaving behind their wounded and dead who are still being counted adding that SAF lost one soldier and 22 were injured.

Col. Sa’ad dismissed SPLM-N claims that it had captured Alahimr, asserting full control of the SAF on the region.

But the SPLM-N spokesperson Arno Lodi said that after more than two-hours of battles they managed to repel simultaneous attacks by SAF on the defensive positions of the rebel group.

He added that the government attack took place on the Luvu area in Kadugli and Alahimr in Buram and that they inflicted heavy losses on SAF units.

Lodi said that the attack came hours after the press conference made by Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir in which he rejected cessation of hostilities with the armed groups and comprehensive solution to the Sudanese crisis.

“The movement has repeatedly stressed that the [ruling National Congress Party] NCP is not serious in seeking a peaceful solution and wants to buy time for military preparations to begin their military campaign which he calls the decisive summer which is meant to kill and displace civilians,” he added.

The spokesman noted that the attack also came a few days after adjournment of negotiations with Khartoum.

“We know it is the beginning of the summer campaign, but our troops continue to monitor and follow up all the movements of the enemy to defend itself and its citizens,” he said.

The coordination unit of the Blue Nile and South Kordofan said on Sunday that eight people were killed by aerial bombing and ground fighting between the Sudanese government forces and SPLM-N in the period between 17 and 23 November.

The Blue Nile and South Kordofan’s conflict erupted months apart from each other in 2011 when Sudan attempted to forcibly disarm SPLM-N fighters it accuses of being backed by their brother-in-arms in the South Sudanese army.

(ST)

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