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Sudanese government, rebels dispute control of Blue Nile’s Kilgu area

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June 2, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government said on Thursday it had dislodged the fighters of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-N) from Jebel Kilgu in the Blue Nile state but the rebels insisted they still held the area .

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Soldiers from Sudan’s army celebrate after gaining control of the area, at the Blue Nile state capital al-Damazin, September 5, 2011 (Reuters)

The Blue Nile Governor Hussein Yassin told Ashrooq TV that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) managed to retake control of the rugged area, located at 30 km south of the state capital Ed-Damazin.

Yassin said that the liberation of Kilgu has increased space of security and stability in the troubled state, considering the victory as a “good omen” for a stable agricultural season that achieves food security in the Blue Nile".

Since April 2015, the Sudanese army has carried out some 21 attacks to capture the strategic from the SPLM-N.

Ashrooq TV reporter said the Sudanese army forces fought a fierce battle on several fronts on the road to the Jebel Kilgu area.

He further said that the SPLM-N forces have left behind a number of their fighters killed and others injured, adding that the armed forces have arrested around one hundred rebels.

While the Sudanese army didn’t issue a statement about the outcome of the fighting in Kilgu, SPLM-N Spokesperson Arnu Ngutulu Lodi denied the recapture of the area by the government forces.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune late on Thursday, Lodi asserted that the fighting is still taking place around Kilgu and the SPLM-N forces "are in full control of the situation".

He added that the claimed victory is a "propaganda and lies to boost the morale" of the defeated troops.

The Sudanese government has been fighting the SPLM-N in South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas since 2011.

This week the government dispatched hundreds of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militiamen to reinforce the regular forces.

On Wednesday, Lodi said the SPLM-N forces repelled an attack on their positions in Torda area, located south-east of Kilgu.

He added they inflicted losses on the attackers.

(ST)

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