Home | News    Tuesday 21 December 2004

Previously unknown Sudan rebel group claims oilfield seizure

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NAIROBI, Dec 21 (AFP) — A previously unknown Sudanese rebel group on Tuesday claimed that it captured a small government oilfield in the country’s western Kordofan region.

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A rebel of the JEM

Fighters from the National Sudanese Movement of Elimination of Marginalization (NSMEM), in their first operation, on Saturday captured Sharif Oil Pumping Station, just east of the troubled Darfur region, Ali Abdelrahim al-Shandi told AFP by satellite phone.

"We want to prohibit the government from oil revenue that has been exploited by corrupt rulers in Sudan," Shandi said.

"The agenda of the new movement are unity, equality and marginalization elimination," he explained, speaking from an undisclosed location in western Kordofan.

"The oil in the area is under our full control now and we have a plan to launch an offensive, focusing on the capital," Khartoum, he added.

Shandi did not claim any links with the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the two main rebel movements that have been fighting government troops in the country’s Darfur region for almost two years.

Sudan produces more than 250,000 barrels of oil a day, and the resource has been blamed for fueling conflicts in the vast African nation.

Central Sudan is home to numerous armed groups, with shifting alliances, mostly between pro- and anti-Khartoum forces.

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