Rebels deny expulsion of East Darfur battlefield by Sudan army

Darfur rebels, who allegedly seized two towns in East Darfur over the weekend, denied being expelled from the area by government forces. State authorities say the regime regained control of the region. Speaking to the Sudanese Media Center of the Sudanese security services, the state’s governor asserted the Sheiria locality, where the battles took place, is “rebel free”. His statement was supported by a local commissioner who added “[the Sudanese army] SAF is still combing the area to clear the locality from rebels completely”. The spokesman for the Sudan Liberation Army faction of Minni Minawi (SLA-MM) called the government’s statement “false propaganda that indicates the level of disregard the ruling party has with its people”. Adam Saleh suggested the government is trying to manipulate the public opinion and coerce the people to join its battles against rebel groups, adding the people “boycotted the announcement”.     Rebels stressed they will not move from these towns and they are ready to repel any attacks by the government.   Saleh added to Radio Dabanga the SLA-MM is “closely monitoring the movement” of SAF soldiers and its militias, who are camped at East Darfur’s Yassin area, for “fear moving towards Muhajeriya”. On Saturday, the SLA-MM seized Muhajeriya and Labado, scattering thousands of civilians toward UN bases in the two towns. SLA-MM, 24 hours later, allegedly seized the village of Ishma, located eight kilometers east of Nyala, capital of South Darfur. The UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) confirmed the capture of the two towns in East Darfur, saying it was assaulted in the early morning on Saturday.  Airstrikes were later reported at both locations, the Mission said in a press statement Sunday night, adding that “thousands of civilians, many with their livestock, are concentrated around UNAMID team sites in Muhajeriya and Labado for protection.” UN Mission Chief Mohamed Ibn Chambas condemned the attack saying: “These actions only bring further suffering to the civilian population and undermine the peace process.” Muhajeriya was a stronghold of SLA-MM earlier in the war but was also briefly held by JEM in 2009. File photo: An aerial view of Muhajeriya town in East Darfur State (sudanforum.net)Related: Muhajeriya air strike ‘claims 9 lives’ E Darfur -rebels (8 April 2013)Fresh clashes between rebels and Sudan army leave ‘dozens killed’ (8 April 2013)

Darfur rebels, who allegedly seized two towns in East Darfur over the weekend, denied being expelled from the area by government forces. State authorities say the regime regained control of the region.

Speaking to the Sudanese Media Center of the Sudanese security services, the state’s governor asserted the Sheiria locality, where the battles took place, is “rebel free”.

His statement was supported by a local commissioner who added “[the Sudanese army] SAF is still combing the area to clear the locality from rebels completely”.

The spokesman for the Sudan Liberation Army faction of Minni Minawi (SLA-MM) called the government’s statement “false propaganda that indicates the level of disregard the ruling party has with its people”.

Adam Saleh suggested the government is trying to manipulate the public opinion and coerce the people to join its battles against rebel groups, adding the people “boycotted the announcement”.    

Rebels stressed they will not move from these towns and they are ready to repel any attacks by the government.  

Saleh added to Radio Dabanga the SLA-MM is “closely monitoring the movement” of SAF soldiers and its militias, who are camped at East Darfur’s Yassin area, for “fear moving towards Muhajeriya”.

On Saturday, the SLA-MM seized Muhajeriya and Labado, scattering thousands of civilians toward UN bases in the two towns.

SLA-MM, 24 hours later, allegedly seized the village of Ishma, located eight kilometers east of Nyala, capital of South Darfur.

The UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) confirmed the capture of the two towns in East Darfur, saying it was assaulted in the early morning on Saturday. 

Airstrikes were later reported at both locations, the Mission said in a press statement Sunday night, adding that “thousands of civilians, many with their livestock, are concentrated around UNAMID team sites in Muhajeriya and Labado for protection.”

UN Mission Chief Mohamed Ibn Chambas condemned the attack saying: “These actions only bring further suffering to the civilian population and undermine the peace process.”

Muhajeriya was a stronghold of SLA-MM earlier in the war but was also briefly held by JEM in 2009.

File photo: An aerial view of Muhajeriya town in East Darfur State (sudanforum.net)

Related:

Muhajeriya air strike ‘claims 9 lives’ E Darfur -rebels (8 April 2013)

Fresh clashes between rebels and Sudan army leave ‘dozens killed’ (8 April 2013)