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Renewed fighting between Sudan forces, rebels in North Darfur

May 29 - 2017 KUTUM
Captured rebel fighters in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, 23 May 2017 (Government of Sudan)
Captured rebel fighters in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, 23 May 2017 (Government of Sudan)

Both the Sudanese government and members of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) and the SLM-Transitional Council claim victory following new fierce fighting in North Darfur’s Kutum on Sunday.

In a joint statement on Sunday afternoon, the two SLM factions reported that army troops, supported by paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) attacked the SLM-held areas in Ein Siro and the mountains north-west of Kutum in the early morning.

“Our forces responded to the attack, and caused the enemy large losses. We managed to burn and destroy more than 13 Land Cruisers loaded with heavy weapons,” the statement reads. “At the moment of writing this statement, the clashes are ongoing.”

The spokesman for the SLM-MM, Mohamed Hassan, added to Radio Dabanga that the government offensive resulted in the displacement of a large number of people in the area.

'Mercenaries'

The spokesman for the RSF, Lt. Col. Adam Abakar told the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) on Sunday that they managed to defeat the insurgents at Ein Siro in Kutum after causing them great losses in lives and equipment.

Last Saturday, a joint force of army and RSF troops “confronted armed groups of mercenaries who simultaneously entered North and East Darfur from Libya and South Sudan to undermine peace and stability in Sudan”, according to a statement of the Sudan Armed Forces.

The government forces took a number of the rebel fighters prisoner, among them Nimir Abdelrahman, the leader of SLM-TC, and Ahmed Hussein, the spokesman for SLM-MM. They were “shown to the public” in the stadium of Nyala, capital of South Darfur, last week. An unknown number of detained rebel fighters have reportedly been liquidated.

Call for humane treatment

The National Consensus Forces, a coalition of Sudanese opposition parties, have called on the Sudanese authorities to treat the detained rebel combatants in a humanitarian manner.

In a statement on Sunday, the coalition expressed its concern over leaked videos and pictures showing the dead and prisoners in humiliating situations.

The allied opposition called for the need to humanely treat prisoners at all times. The wounded have the right to be treated by a medical doctor “as stipulated in the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners”.

The coalition further called for speeding up the announcement of the names of the prisoners, and grant international organisations concerned access to them to check their conditions and enable them to contact their families.


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