The rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) engaged in three straight days of fighting and offensive movements in North Darfur, South Darfur and North Kordofan, Thursday to Saturday. JEM Kordofan Sector announced Thursday that it had made an armed incursion into an area of Kordofan known as Al Majrur. The rebel forces entered the area without resistance. Mohamed Bileel, a member of the JEM leadership council, told Radio Dabanga that JEM assigned a governor to the area. The rebels may have subsequently withdrawn.
A separate incident occurred Thursday in South Darfur at Khor Taan area near Sani Afando. One JEM source told the Nairobi-based Sudan Radio Service that rebels captured 13 of 70 government vehicles involved in the clash.
On Friday morning, a fight broke out in Hamari, south of Ghibaisha town in North Kordofan. Each party claimed to have defeated the other decisively. The Sudan military initiated the fighting, according to spokesmen of both parties, intercepting a JEM force. JEM Military Spokesman Ali Al Wafi described the rebel force as an “administrative patrol.” He put the number of government vehicles at 147. Speaking from the field, he told Radio Dabanga that the forces of the movement crushed the government forces and forced them to flee. The rebels claimed to have captured war prisoners, 35 vehicles and destroyed another 12. He admitted that some rebel troops were killed or injured.
For his part, the army spokesman Al Sawarmi Khaled Saad insisted that the rebels had not won the battle. He informed Radio Dabanga that two soldiers of the armed forces died and 20 were wounded in the engagement. However, he denied that the JEM forces had seized 35 cars from the army. He stressed that there were a number of deaths in the ranks of the JEM.
The next battle was fought Saturday, 6 November, at Darma, 25 kilometres north-east of Kornoi, close to the Doba Well in the State of North Darfur. According to a statement by JEM’s Ali Alwafi, the rebels defeated the government’s Kornoi Battalion which consisted of three mobile units mounted on 210 vehicles. He claimed that the Kornoi Battalion fled the battlefield leaving behind more than 100 dead, scores of war prisoners, 32 vehicles mounted with different types of heavy guns, and 10 supply trucks.
Senior JEM commander Suleiman Sandal told Reuters news agency today, “The army was moving to take control of the water sources in the region and we got this information and attacked them.” Three JEM fighters died and 13 were injured, he said.
The battles follow an earlier JEM attack on Wednesday that killed more than 50 government troops. The government put that figure at 37 policemen killed. The ambush targeted a relief convoy that included 99 trucks carrying relief supplies, according to a statement by Georg Charpentier, a top UN official in Khartoum. A spokesman for UN-OCHA said that the convoy was very large but he declined to say what other types of vehicles may have been in the convoy. Radio Dabanga had earlier reported that it was a commercial convoy that included fuel tankers. A separate commercial convoy including fuel tankers was attacked by JEM about a week earlier, on or about October 30. Five guards were killed in that attack.