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South Kordofan: SPLM-N kills 'dozens' of soldiers

Fighters of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North after battle in the Nuba Mountains, March 2016 (SPLM-N)
Fighters of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North after battle in the Nuba Mountains, March 2016 (SPLM-N)

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North said it inflicted heavy casualties on Sudanese forces and allied militiamen in South Kordofan's Nuba Mountains in ambushes and shelling from Thursday to Saturday.

Rebel forces in the western Kadugli sector, commanded by Hussein Ismail Sharfi, attacked a garrison of the Sudanese army two kilometres west of the state capital on Saturday. Eleven soldiers and one rebel combatant were killed, according to a statement by SPLM-N spokesman Arnu Ngutulu Lodi.

The rebels seized two Dushka machineguns, and three RPG-7 launchers.

On Saturday morning, SPLM-N troops in the north of the state ambushed soldiers on the Shamshaka-Karnak road in Rashad locality. Lodi stated that they killed eight soldiers and seized one vehicle.

An air raid by a MiG jet fighter in Umm Dorain, east of Kadugli, did not result in any casualties on Saturday. Barrel bombs dropped by an Antonov in the same area destroyed the properties of civilians, the SPLM-N reported.

Heiban fighting

Early Friday morning, the rebels of the Kau-Werny sector “destroyed” a military garrison south of Kologi under the command of Lt.col Ibrahim Tiran. Lodi said that 17 soldiers were killed and that they lost two fighters on their side. Kologi is located in Talodi locality, east of Heiban.

The SPLM-N also shelled military forces in El Azrag, east of Heiban, on Friday, reportedly killing more than eight soldiers and destroying one T-85 tank.

In an attack against a military convoy west of Um Serdiba, east of Kadugli, on Thursday, “more than 50 soldiers were killed”, Lodi said. Allegedly, commanding officer Major Nasradin was among the casualties. “We have lost one of our fighters and fifteen others were wounded.”

Military offensive

The Sudanese army has launched its 'dry-season offensive' against the rebels in South Kordofan in an attempt to win large parts of the Nuba Mountains from the grip of the rebels. 

The 2016 fighting season has been far less active than previous years. Sudan warplanes have dropped roughly 105 bombs this year, compared to 816 in January 2015 alone, according to Nuba Reports. Since 2011, the government of Sudan and the SPLM-N have been at war in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. According to the think thank Small Arms Survey, the front lines have not changed substantially since 2012.

The rebel-held areas are  inaccessible for international aid organisations. Mass displacement has affected around one third of South Kordofan’s population of approximately 1.4 million. Close to 100,000 people have fled to refugee camps in neighbouring South Sudan, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees last year.

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