October 28, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese minister of defense, Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein, has vowed to pulverize rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) after they shelled the capital of South Kordofan during his ongoing visit.
- Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, left, Defense Minister Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein and Nafie Ali Nafie at a Khartoum rally in May (Abd Raouf - Associated Press)
The minister accompanied by the chief of staff of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the director-general of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Mohammed Atta on Saturday visited South Kordofan capital Kadugli which recently came under bold attacks by the SPLM-N.
SPLM-N spokesperson Arnu Loddi said that they shelled army positions inside Kadugli on Friday following renewed aerial bombardment by government forces on their positions.
Reports from the ground indicate that the shelling occurred while Hussein was addressing worshippers following Eid prayer.
Following the shelling, the minister pledged during his address in Al-Hurriya square to “purge” the state of the rebels. He further said that they would respond in kind by sending more army reinforcements to the state. “We will wipe and clean” he said.
This was the fourth time SPLM-N rebels shelled Kadugli since fighting in the state which borders South Sudan broke out in June last year after the insurgents refused attempts by the government to disarm them.
Fighting in South Kordofan has intensified since Sudan and South Sudan signed a security arrangements deal among others in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on 27 September. The deal provides for the establishment of a buffer demilitarized zone along the border areas which the SPLM says it controls 40 percent of them.
Khartoum says the deal provides for what its officials describe as the “untangling” of South Sudan army and the SPLM-N which fought as part of it in the second Sudanese civil war.