Sudan rebels 'destroy' convoy in Kordofan - threats from Khartoum

South Kordofan
May 13, 2013 (Radio Dabanga)

The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) claims to have destroyed a government convoy carrying 2,000 troops on Monday who were attempting to recapture the city of Abu Karshola in South Kordofan. They also claim to have killed and wounded dozens of government troops and that they have captured vehicles and military equipment.

These latest reports could not be independently verified, but repeated clashes in the area have displaced an estimated 40,000 so far.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga from the field, SRF military spokesman Colonel Al Gadi Rumboy said that his forces clashed with "National Congress Party (NCP) troops" near Abu Karshola at 8:00am on Monday. Rumboy said that his forces launched an attack on a group that calls itself "Winner by God". The group was heading for Abu Karshola, "however, we attacked them before they could reach the city."

Rumboy said that the SRF was able to defeat the government unit after three hours of fighting. The rest escaped towards El Rahad and Umm Rawaba, "leaving dozens of dead and wounded, as well as many vehicles and a lot of equipment. Everything is now being counted," Rumboy said.

In Khartoum, President Omar Al Bashir said the armed forces on the outskirts of the city of Abu Karshola are "determined to solve the SRF issue": "The SAF is near Abu Karshola and there is heavy fighting against rebels". Al Bashir promised to "purge the area of rebels, who killed innocent and unarmed civilians".

The president made the statement on Monday during his address to the (missionary) Organization of the Islamic Dawa. He described the rebels' actions as "terrorism, contrary to all norms and conventions" and said the attempts by SRF will "only make us stronger and we will purge Sudan of traitors".

"One by one"

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Ahmed Ibrahim Al Tahir, vowed to kill the leaders of the SRF "one by one" during a meeting with the Sudanese media in Khartoum at the weekend.

He asserted that the rebels "cannot reach Khartoum, but if they do, this would mean an even bigger disaster for them than when Khalil tried entering Omdurman in 2008". The late JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim launched a surprise attack on Omdurman, near the Sudanese capital. They were eventually repulsed by the army.

Last Friday, JEM Secretary of Management and Administration told Radio Dabanga that "rebel forces will enter areas close to the Sudanese capital very soon, and will enter Khartoum itself shortly afterwards".

National Assembly Speaker Al-Tahir also vowed to launch a "heavy attack" on the opposition parties, saying their position in relation to the SRF attacks in South and North Kordofan is "blurry". He claims that keeping silent about the recent attacks implies that they support the SRF.

Al Tahir said that there are no ongoing negotiations with the SPLM-N, saying that resuming talks with the rebel group at the moment would mean the destruction and defeat of the SAF.

On 23 April, the SPLM-N and the Sudanese government began direct talks to try to end the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states for the first time since 2011. However, talks were suspended in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, amidst claims of diverging interests, Radio Tamazuj reported.

40,000 displaced

The SRF rebel alliance launched a surprise attack on the North Kordofan town of Umm Rawaba two weeks ago. It also allegedly captured the nearby town of Abu Karshola in South Kordofan, which the army is now attempting trying to regain.

The number of people fleeing their homes has reached 40,000 since the beginning of hostilities, with many of the displaced received in the town of El Rahad.

A source from the town said that 138 of the displaced are infected with pneumonia, 40 of them are living in a girls' school building called Binti Khuwailid. He also said that 76 people are suffering from diarrhoea and 75 with malaria. In addition, 21 of the people currently living in Tandik "camp" are also suffering of diarrhoea.

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".


Radio Dabanga has received frequent reports of arrests in the states surrounding the fighting. Last week, the security authorities of Sudan's White Nile state arrested a lawyer, Rashid Ali Omar, sources said.

The latest report claims that the Secretary of the SPLM-N for White Nile state, Niemat Jamma, was transferred the to the security unit of Kosti and subsequently to the city's prison.

Last week, the Office of the President of the People in South Kordofan arrested several SPLM-N members in Umm Rawaba, El Rahad, Asimuh and Allah Karim in North and South Kordofan. All of them were transferred to El Obeid prison in North Kordofan after being questioned in Umm Rawaba and El Rahad.

As reported by Radio Dabanga, SPLM-N condemned the arrest on 7 May, of approximately 60 prominent dignitaries by Sudanese security services.


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