Kordofan: SPLA-SAF standoff in Mugled precarious

By Abdallah Al Kheir Suleiman

Darfur, Sudan
8 September, 2007 (New Sudan Vision)

Up to 9am this morning Saturday 8th September, SPLA were still being surrounded by Sudan Armed Forces in Mugled military area. The SPLA team was returning from Abu Matarik in Ed Daein, southern Darfur after spending over two weeks there absorbing members of Arabic speaking tribes of Darfur into SPLA.

The SPLA team under Major General Alier and assisted by several senior officers like Malual Majok, Hassan Hamid, Deng Balial, David, Abd Rahman Bakhit and other low ranking officers from both Misseriya and Reizegat tribes were on their final leg to Dibab garrison, east of Mugled town.

The SPLA force moved from Ed Daein on 6th September around 5pm with 8 vehicles armed with light weapons. SAF always sees the influx into the SPLA ranks of the two tribes as threat because of their close location with southern Sudan. SAF says that the SPLA team identifies itself because it has always doubted the ranks of the SPLA. Being surrounded by tanks is a humiliation to SPLA, according to one soldier. "Until now they are still few kilometers away outside Mugled. We are not being told the reasons why these people are surrounded." said one of the soldiers on the offensive from Mugled town.

Curfew is in full force in the town. Last week a government official from Taxation was killed in Samo'a with oil tankers burned and police force in Mugled were attacked by the locals. The situation around Fulla, Babanusa, Mugled and Tubun is deteriorating rapidly. Sudan government is being blamed for making false promises to the Misseriya who kept SPLA at bay during north-south conflict. If the nomadic tribes take up arms against the central government, the situation around the oil fields could change within the next coming months.



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