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Al Bashir threatens to ‘disarm Darfur rebels’ in South Sudan

April 29 - 2015 SOUTH DARFUR
Part of South Darfur (OCHA map of Darfur)
Part of South Darfur (OCHA map of Darfur)

President Omar Al Bashir has threatened to invade South Sudan to disarm the Sudanese rebel movements allegedly based there.

The Sudanese president visited the area of Goz Dango in Tullus locality, South Darfur, where fighting broke out on Sunday between troops of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and rebels of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), supported by combatants of the Sudanese Liberation Movement led by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM).

In his address to the RSF militia troops, Al Bashir accused the South Sudanese government of continuing its hostility against Sudan, by supporting and sheltering Darfuri rebel groups. “We will give them [South Sudan] the opportunity to take the right decision, and disarm the rebels. Otherwise, the RSF are ready to do so,” he said.

Defence Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein announced on Monday that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) have closed all border crossings with South Sudan. He claimed that the JEM combatants received extensive training “for one year and a half year”, from foreign experts in South Sudan, “to destabilise Sudan and sabotage the election”.

Hussein, who also addressed the RSF fighters in Goz Dango on Tuesday, lauded their “sweeping victory” against JEM in the battles near Nakhara in South Darfur’s Dimsu locality over the weekend. He stressed that the government forces are ready to protect the country “against any aggressor”.

National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) Director El Atta Fadul El Moula claimed that more than 1,000 JEM rebels had entered South Darfur from South Sudan. “Yet only 37 of them returned, wounded”.

RSF militia commander Brig. Mohamed Hamdan (Hemeti) reported that they seized 161 Land Cruisers from the rebels, and a large amount of heavy and light weaponry. They took 340 hostages, including JEM field commanders.

A number of the militia fighters, commanded by the NISS, received medals of courage.

Morale

JEM spokesman Jibril Adam Bilal strongly denied the allegations of their defeat. He told Radio Dabanga on Tuesday that the Sudanese president visited South Darfur only to raise the morale of the defeated government troops.  

Bilal stressed that the rebel forces “crushed” all the government troops in Buram and Nakhara. He added that groups of rebel fighters reached the area near Nyala, the capital of South Darfur. Others entered East Jebel Marra in North Darfur. 

In a statement on Saturday, SLM-MM military spokesman Ahmed Adarob announced that the joint rebel force took control of Buram, 80km south of Nyala. He claimed that large numbers of army soldiers and RSF militiamen were killed.

Water shortage

The presence of the large RSF militia force, with 200 vehicles, in Dimsu locality has led to an acute drinking water crisis in the area, where there are only a water station and a one well.

A listener told Radio Dabanga from Barka that the people are denied access to the water points for four hours daily, to enable the government forces to fill their tankers. “Because of the scarcity, the price of a barrel of water has increased to SDG50 ($8.35).”

He said that “the large presence of militiamen, the constant shooting, and the flying of helicopters are causing great fear among the people”.

North Darfur

JEM spokesman Jibril Adam Bilal also told Radio Dabanga that JEM fighters attacked government forces in North Darfur’s Ailliet locality on Monday. “We captured a number of soldiers and militiamen. The rest of the troops fled to Ailliet town. We also seized 37 military vehicles and large quantities of ammunition and supplies.”


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