JEM: Sudan 'rebels soon to enter Khartoum'

North Kordofan
May 10, 2013 (Radio Dabanga)

"Rebel forces will enter areas close to the Sudanese capital 'very soon', and will enter Khartoum itself shortly afterwards," according to an announcement by the Secretary of Management and Administration of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

In an interview with Radio Dabanga from the field on Friday, Abubakar Hamid Nour Amin said that soldiers of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel coalition are making progress towards the country's capital "on a daily basis".

"Following operations in Umm Rawaba and Abu Karshola, SRF fighters are advancing towards the Nile from the west, north and several other directions. They are approaching to the main road connecting Kosti in White Nile and El Obeid in North Kordofan."

The secretary said that the refusal of the Sudanese government to achieve a comprehensive peace agreement is failing. "The choice of Khartoum to wage war forced the SRF to take military action. Our ultimate objective is to topple the regime and establish a democratic alternative in the country with the participation all the people of Sudan," he explained.

The SRF is an alliance of rebel forces recruiting primarily in Darfur and Kordofan. Its forces staged a surprise attack on the North Kordofan town of Umm Rawaba two weeks ago. The town, east of the state capital El Obeid, is on the route to Rabak, the capital of White Nile State.

The JEM has confirmed its role: "The goal of this attack is to weaken the government in order to realise our strategic plan to topple the regime," JEM spokesman Jibril Adam Bilal told Reuters following the action.

Fighting in the region continues, with the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and rebels making contradictory claims over who is winning the battles.

On Monday, the SRF military claimed to have killed 60 SAF soldiers and captured nine in Abu Karshola. The army was trying to recapture the town which had allegedly been under rebel control for about two weeks. A rebel spokesman claimed that the SRF shot down a SAF MiG aircraft.

The army has disputed all allegations. They say that on Monday, the fighting was in Khor Al Tina in South Kordofan, with a spokesman stressing that his troops had in fact inflicted losses on the rebels: "All SAF troops on the battlefield are in complete safety. They are now working to clear the area of rebels."

Meanwhile in Umm Rawaba, El Rahad, Asimuh and Allah Karim in North and South Kordofan, the Office of the President of the People in South Kordofan has arrested many members of the SPLM-N, one of the SRF coalition partners.

A rebel spokesman recently dismissed allegations by Dr Nafie Ali Nafie, Adviser to the Sudanese President, of fifth column activity, calling them "dissemination of rumours in order to arrest all opposition leaders in Sudan."

32,000 displaced

The situation remains tense in the area with many civilians fleeing their homes trying to escape violence.

Dr Suleiman Abdul Rahman Suleiman, General Commissioner of the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) in Sudan, announced that the town of El Rahad has received about 25,000 displaced people fleeing Abu Karshola.

Suleiman added that the areas of Umm Rawaba and Asimuh and some villages around Al Daiyr Mountain have received approximately 7,000, bringing the total number of displaced people to 32,000 by Thursday evening.

Suleiman reiterated the government's refusal to set up camps in the vicinity in order to accommodate the newly displaced. "The guidelines of the government are clear: no new camps, no foreign NGOs to work with Sudanese displaced".

Recently, Sudan's Interior Minister announced to Khartoum newspapers that "establishing camps would reproduce the Darfur crisis in North Kordofan". He said that the more than 30,000 displaced will be "hosted in centres, school buildings and under trees in Abu Karshola until the town is free".


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