Home | News    Wednesday 22 February 2017

Sudanese army, SPLM-N trade accusations over renewed fighting in S. Kordofan

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February 21, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese army and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) on Tuesday have exchanged accusations over ceasefire violation in South Kordofan state.

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Sudanese army soldiers and RSF militiamen ride on a tank outside the military headquarters in Kadugli, South Kordofan after recapturing the Daldako area on 20 May 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Nureldine Abdallah)

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday morning, SPLM-N accused the Sudanese government forces of attacking its position in Kadugli area in South Kordofan state.

“Today morning, 21st February 2017, the Sudanese army and its allied militia started their dry season offensive around 6 am at Krongo Abdalla in Kadougli county, breaching the declared joint cease-fire," reads the statement

The SPLM-N vowed to repel the assailants and called on the regional and international community to condemn the attack, pointing that the area "is heavily inhabited by civilian population".

However, Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) spokesperson Ahmed Khalifa al-Shami said the SPLM-N on Tuesday morning “launched an attack against Al-Mashaish area, 38 kilometres west of Kadougli”, describing the move as “clear violation of the ceasefire”.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune late on Tuesday, al-Shami added that SAF troops have repulsed the attack and inflicted on them heavy losses in lives and equipment, saying one army soldier was killed and several others injured during the clashes.

South Kordofan and neighbouring Blue Nile state have been the scene of violent conflict between the SPLM-N and Sudanese army since 2011.

In June 2016, President Omer al-Bashir declared a unilateral four-month cessation of hostilities. Last month, he extended the ceasefire for six months following a two-month extension declared in October.

Also, in October, SPLM-N extended for six months the unilateral cessation of hostilities in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states they declared in October 2015 and April 2016.

During a new round of talks brokered by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), the warring parties failed last August, to reach a humanitarian cessation of hostilities agreement.

The government refuses a proposal by the SPLM-N to allow 20% of the relief materials to reach the rebel-affected areas from Asosa, an Ethiopian town of the border with the Blue Nile State.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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