Popular Defence Forces take to the streets of Kadugli

Unrest in South Kordofan
UNMIS Media Monitoring Report, 18 February 2007

(AlAyaam et al, 17 Feb.) Kadugli town held its breath last Thursday evening when the
Popular Defence Forces took to the streets in full combat gear and stationed themselves at
the Freedom Square chanting anti-SPLM slogans.

The state government had earlier issued orders for authorities to seize government
vehicles following a strike by civil servants. The governor says that the authorities then
found someone driving a government vehicle and, when confronted, turned out to be a
major in the Customs Police. That person refused to hand over his vehicle and this
sparked fist fights between the two sides.

Governor Ismail Jallab says all were surprised when the PDF took to the streets in full
combat gear chanting anti-SPLM slogans such as, “We will not be ruled by the SPLM”.
The governor accused parties he did not name of being behind this “show of power aimed
at inciting the other party”. He said that the PDF brandished new guns and drove around
in cars as the town relieved the days of the war.

The state’s security committee held a meeting yesterday strongly condemning the PDF
for this act and called for an immediate investigation into the incident and a trial of the
perpetrators. The meeting also underlined the need to instruct the competent military
committees to disarm the civilians.

Governor Jallab says the incident has been reported to the Minister of Federal

AlSudani reports that the person who sparked the incident was in fact neither a customs
officer nor the director of the office of the Deputy Governor of the state as he claimed.

But AlIntibaha (18 Feb.) reports that the South Kordofan chapter of the National
Congress Party has strongly criticised Governor Jallab and blamed him for what befell
the SPLM in the state and for any security problems that may arise.

In a statement, the National Congress Party condemned the “random manner” in which
the governor’s decision was being implemented.

The statement goes on to say that the National Congress Party has been exercising
restraint over the continued harassment meted out by the SPLM on supporters of the
National Congress Party within eye and earshot of the governor with impunity for the

Rai AlShaab daily reports on 18 Feb. that the SPLA and the PDF are facing each other
across the building housing the offices of S. Kordofan State government.

The paper draws a bleak picture of what may happen and says the situation there is very
tense and may explode into a full-scale confrontation between the two sides.


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