Home | News    Thursday 24 May 2012

Sudan army denies failure to invade rebels’ bastion

May 23, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The spokesperson of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), Al-Sawarmi Khalid Saad, asserted on Wednesday that their forces are capable of entering Kauda, the stronghold of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan State.

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FILE PHOTO - Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad (GETTY)

Sudanese officials including President Omer al-Bashir have recently made statements indicating that SAF is close to taking control of Kauda, which lies to the east of the state capital Kadugli.

SPLM-N have maintained control of approximately five localities in South Kordofan since the conflict there erupted in June last year following SAF threats to disarm the rebels by force if they don’t move south of the 1956 borders with South Sudan.

Speaking at a seminar in the Saudi capital Al-Riyad, Al-Sawarmi said that SAF was not unable to enter Kauda but the plan was subject to “priorities and timeframes we’re carefully calculating.”

He further denied that SAF was suffering at the hands of rebels, claiming that their forces were in control of all main areas in South Kordofan and that the rebels were confined to far-off areas up in the Nuba Mountains which provide protection from ground and air attacks.

Turning to the situation in Blue Nile State, where SPLM-N is also fighting, Al-Sawarmi said that SAF was in complete control of the state and that the rebels only operate in Khor Yabus which he described as an area of “little strategic significance”.

Al-Sawarmi is visiting Saudi Arabia to raise fund from the large Sudanese community there to support SAF.

The Sudanese government accuses South Sudan of supporting SPLM-N rebels who fought as part of the southern army during the north-south civil war in the former united Sudan. Juba denies the charge.

In November last year, SPLM-N rebels forged an alliance called the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) with three rebel groups from Sudan’s western region of Darfur, vowing joint military operations to oust the government in Khartoum.