Sudan vows to neutralize SPLM-N rebels in S. Kordofan

April 20, 2013 (Sudan Tribune)

The Sudanese government today affirmed that its army is on alert to circumvent any offensive by the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan state.

The state governor Ahmed Haroun scoffed at this month's shelling of South Kordofan capital city of Kadugli by SPLM-N calling it a result of internal developments within the rebel movement that ended up targeting the people and not the government.

Three people were killed and 6 others including three women injured in the SPLM-N shelling which was reportedly launched from the south-eastern part of the city thus landing in the neighborhoods of Gadisiyah.

Haroun, in press statements from Kadugli, went on to say that the SPLM-N wants to bolster its negotiating position ahead of the upcoming talks with Khartoum that are sponsored by the African Union mediation team.

However, the Sudanese official complained that the rebels are moving freely across the joint borders with South Sudan calling it a "disturbing" phenomenon.

He hailed the recent rapprochement between Khartoum and Juba saying it will reflect positively on the security situation and will take some load off their shoulders by devoting more resources to securing oil fields.

Haroun also emphasized that the army controls large parts of South Kordofan.

In a related issue the secretary general of the Sudan Islamist Movement (IM) Al-Zubeir Ahmed al-Hassan said the rebels in South Kordofan will not resort to peace unless the army "disciplines" them.

Al-Hassan, who was addressing a military unit in Kadugli, described the war in South Kordofan as one imposed on them by the rebels whom he said "failed the democratic test".

"If it wasn't for the army guardianship [of security] and its response to those who are trying to take the law [using their own hands] the country would have turned into chaos similar to the situation in Somalia," he said.

He also said that the government is readying itself for the negotiation phase and urged the army to be on standby and prepared. Al-Hassan likened the situation to a soccer match in its final minutes when every side is keen on scoring goals.

After almost two years of stonewalling, Khartoum agreed to negotiate with SPLM-N regarding ending the military conflict in Blue Nile and South Kordofan which has been raging since 2011.

But the Sudanese government insists that the dialogue would be held under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which led to South Sudan's separation in 2011 a referendum returned a vote overwhelmingly in favor of the move.

But the SPLM-N wants the talks under last year's United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution which said negotiations should occur on the basis of an agreement the rebels signed in June 2011 with Bashir's assistant Nafie Ali Nafie.

Bashir immediately scrapped the agreement dealing huge embarrassment to his powerful aide.


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