Sudan claims Kordofan areas 'liberated'

2013-12-21 13:08

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Khartoum - Sudan's military says it has "liberated" several areas of war-torn South Kordofan state, but rebels on Saturday dismissed the claim as propaganda, saying a government offensive achieved "nothing".

The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) said late on Friday that it had taken over Abu Hassan, a rebel command centre, "after a series of victories" elsewhere in the state.

"SAF troops lost some martyrs and suffered wounded," the military said in a statement issued by the state SUNA news agency.

It did not mention casualties among the insurgents.

Abu Hassan is in northeastern Rashad district, but the statement named more than a dozen other areas from which it was "able to expel rebels", including Kujuria in Dilling district.

"This is not true," Arnu Ngutulu Lodi, spokesperson for the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), told AFP.

"It is aerial bombardment that caused destruction and the fleeing of the people."

He said the rebels, who have been fighting for more than two years in South Kordofan, already announced on December 5 that they had defeated government forces "who attempted to occupy Kujuria".

The rebels claimed on December 12 that government attacks and bombing in other parts of the state had forced more than 2 000 residents to flee their homes.

Sudanese authorities have severely restricted access to the war zone for aid workers, journalists and foreign diplomats, making verification of claims difficult.

Fighting has escalated since Defence Minister Abdelrahim Mohammed Hussein said in November that an operation had begun to crush Sudanese rebels.

"Nothing has been achieved on the ground," Lodi said.

The uprising by the non-Arab SPLM-N is fuelled by complaints of political and economic neglect by the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime.

Read more on:    splm-n  |  sudan  |  east africa

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