SPLA’s al-Hilu claims control over large areas of S. Kordofan

19 June, 2011 (Sudan Tribune)

The Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) in South Kordofan denied assertions by Khartoum that it has full control of the state saying that battles are still ongoing including in the capital city of Kadugli.

"We want to confirm to you that fighting is still ongoing within the city of Kadugli and that the SPLA is still in control of important locations within the city," read a statement signed by the former deputy governor of South Kordofan and the leading SPLA figure in the state Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu.

"We confirm to you that a number of localities are entirely under the control of the SPLA by 100% which are the localities (Dallami, Haiban, Alburam, Um Dorain) in addition to more than 60 other garrisons scattered along the state had been liberated completely from the grip of the army of the National Congress Party".

Al-Hilu accused the state governor Ahmed Haroun and other NCP officials of "misleading the public opinion" and in the process are continuing to kill civilians particularly through aerial bombardments.

"We want to assure you that our troops will make the necessary arrangements for the protection of civilians in the state", al-Hilu said.

Fighting between Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and SPLA erupted on June 5 under mysterious circumstances. The Northern army said that the SPLA launched an attack on a police station and stole weapons prompting a response.

However, the SPLA claimed that SAF attempted to disarm their units by force. The North gave SPLA in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan until June 1 to evacuate the two states and head South of the 1956 borders.

But officials in the south’s dominant party said that fighters in these border regions are Northerners and therefore cannot be asked to migrate southwards.

Sudanese authorities said that al-Hilu is a fugitive who faces charges of terrorism that carry the death penalty.

On Saturday the SAF military intelligence director in Division 14 infantry Colonel Osama Mohamed said the army uncovered documents and maps showing a plot by the SPLA to assassinate a number of military, political and executive figures in South Kordofan including Haroun who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his role in Darfur war crimes.

The military official said the plot was to be carried out with the participation of UN organizations as well as local and foreign NGO’s. He added that a number of trucks have been seized with a logo of a company named ESCO that is licensed in South Sudan and UNMIS that was transporting food and supplies to the SPLA.

Colonel Osama further said that a large number of weapons and landmines at a Hay Hagr al-Nar district located in the western side of Kadugli that the SPLA was planning to plant in different parts of the city.

The African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) headed by former South African president Thabo Mbeki said this week that the warring parties in South Kordofan have agreed to hold talks on cessation of hostilities.

However Mbeki gave little details on how that would be achieved.

SAF has intensified its bombing campaign and its military aircrafts even dropped several bombs close to a UN compound near Kadugli on Friday.

Prior to that the Northern army closed Kadugli airport drawing strong rebuke from the UN which said that this step hampers humanitarian activity.


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