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Sudan, rebels resume heavy fighting in North Darfur

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RSF commander Hametti greets his fighters in Wadi Hawar, North Darfur after defeating assailant rebels on 23 May 2017 (ST Photo)

May 28, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - A new round of fighting has erupted on Sunday between government forces, and the Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) and the SLM- Transitional Council (SLM-TC), amid conflicting reports about the losses on both sides.

The Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militiamen clashed during four days from 19 to 22 with the SLM-MM and the SLM-TC in North and East Darfur States. The government army killed several leading rebel commanders and arrested the SLM-TC leader and other commanders.

Sudan said the SLM-MM and SLM-TC fighters came from Libya and South Sudan. Also, Khartoum accused Juba and Cairo of supporting and providing weapons to the two armed groups. The two neighbouring countries denied the accusations.

Spokesperson of the RSF, Adam Salih, told the official news agency SUNA Sunday that their forces defeated the rebels at Ain Siro area in Kutum locality, North Darfur State.

He pointed out that the rebel force was among those who fled the fighting in Wadi Hawar and entered the Sudanese-Chadian border, saying the RSF has been pursuing rebels fleeing last week’s battles.

Salih stressed the RSF inflicted heavy losses in lives and equipment on the rebels, saying they were able to destroy and seize a large number of military vehicles.
He added that the fighting and the hunt down is still ongoing, saying the RSF is monitoring the border to pursue the fleeing rebels.

Meanwhile, in a joint statement extended to Sudan Tribune, SLM-MM and SLM-TC said government troops and RSF fighters attacked their positions at Ain Siro and the Northwest Kutum mountain range in North Darfur State.

The two rebel groups stressed the government attack have been repulsed and heavy losses in lives have been inflicted on the attackers, saying more than 13 four-wheel-drive Land Cruisers vehicles loaded with heavy weapons have been burned and destroyed.

According to the statement, large numbers of innocent villagers have fled the area.

The Sudanese army has been fighting a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003. UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the conflict, and over 2.5 million were displaced.

BASHIR MEETS HAMETTI

The Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir Sunday evening has been briefed by the head of Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, (aka Hametti) on the recent clashes with the rebel groups.

In press statements following the meeting, Hametti said he briefed the President of the Republic on the latest developments in the recent military clashes in Darfur and "the victories achieved by the army and RSF", adding they "chased the rebels to the borders of the country".

Hametti pointed out that the government forces were able to hit the rebellion in the state of North Darfur, stressing that "Sudan will not be hurt in Darfur after today".

On Saturday the leader of Sudan Liberation Movement, Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) accused the Sudanese government of attacking their positions in the region in an attempt to impose its solution through the barrel of the gun to the 14-year conflict.

"Peace will never be achieved as long as the homeland is held hostage by the regime of the National Congress. The regime wants the whole Sudanese people to give up and stamp on a treaty whose clauses are drafted according to the victor’s terms imposed upon the vanquished," he further said.

(ST)

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