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Bashir vows from South Kordofan’s embattled town of Talodi to overrun rebels’ bastion

May 4, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese president Omer Al-Bashir paid an unannounced visit on Friday to Talodi town in the country’s war-battered region of South Kordofan.

In an address at Talodi’s military base, Al-Bashir hailed Sudanese government troops for thwarting recent attempts by the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) to capture the town.

The Sudanese leader said that he hopes to perform prayers next Friday in the SPLM-N’s stronghold of Kauda.

He urged troops to teach the enemy an unforgettable lesson and purge South Kordofan of any traitor.

“We came here to tell the people of Talodi that we are standing by your side and we will wage a campaign to liberate and purge Sudan of the traitors who sold their country out.”

Al-Bashir accused the leader of the SPLM-N rebellion in South Kordofan, Abdel-Aziz Al-Hilu, of being “a mere façade of the foreign powers” that fund their activities.

Sudan accuses neighbouring South Sudan of supporting the rebels who fought under the insignia of the southern army during north-south civil wars in the former united Sudan.

South Kordofan’s governor, Ahmad Haroun, welcomed Al-Bashir’s visit and said in his presence that Talodi would remain firmly under government control and serve as a springboard towards their next goal which, according to Sudan news agency, is the liberation of Kauda.

SPLM-N rebels made several attempts to capture Talodi in the last few months and on April 22 announced seizing part of it. Sudan says it repelled the attacks.

The rebels have been fighting the government since June last year when Khartoum attempted to disarm them on the grounds of their affiliation to South Sudan’s army.

The conflict spread to Blue Nile State in September of the same year.

(ST)