Sudan army accuses SPLM-N of shelling West Kordofan
Following West Kordofan’s inter-communal clashes between the Misseriya and Nuba tribes which erupted over a land dispute in the state’s Lagawa locality last week, Sudan’s Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) accused the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) of shelling the area.
Following West Kordofan’s inter-communal clashes between the Misseriya and Nuba tribes which erupted over a land dispute in the state’s Lagawa locality last week, Sudan’s Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) accused the Sudan People's Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) of shelling the area.
On October 13, the SPLM-N allegedly launched numerous mortars during an indiscriminate shelling from their base in Jebel Tarin, north of the Lagawa locality where the inter-communal clashes took place
In a statement from an SAF spokesperson yesterday, he said the shelling campaign targeted the main market in Lagawa, which was the epicentre of the infighting. He considered the shelling to be a clear violation of the ceasefire adhered to in the region since October 16, 2019.
In a statement by Jaber Kamandan Koumi, the official spokesman for SPLM-N, he vigorously denied the accusations of shelling Lagawa.
Koumi added that the accusations were a “desperate attempt to distort the image of the popular movement” and accused the SAF and RSF of “fabricating and engineering the conflict in Lagwa”.
The SPLM-N statement went on to renew its appeal to the warring factions in Lagawa to “implement wisdom and give priority to the voice of reason in order to prevent bloodshed”.
As well as the SAF and RSF, Khaled Jili the governor of West Kordofan state, also accused the SPLM-N of shelling the city. Jili told Radio Dabanga’s Voice of the States programme that the SPLM’s denial of this accusation was completely false, adding that the government monitored an infiltration from an SPLM-N group who were seen “carrying weapons”.
The governor stated that the situation is now relatively calm, and his security committee sat down with the civil administrations on both sides “for the purpose of reconciliation among them”.
In a flash update released today, the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) confirms that at least 4,000 people (about 800 families) were reportedly displaced and many homes in the town were burned and looted as a result of clash.
There are reports of 12 people killed and 20 wounded as of 16 October, according to the International Organisation for Migration Displacement Tracking Matrix (IOM DTM).
Displaced people have taken refuge in the Lagawa military compound, the girls’ school, and the police station. In addition, an unconfirmed number of people have reportedly been displaced to the Dilling locality in South Kordofan.
Despite yesterday’s visit to the area by the governor of the state, accompanied by members of the state security committee, at around 18:00 the town was reportedly shelled by missiles coming from nearby mountains. No information on casualties has been received yet, the OCHA update says.
OCHA laments that the area is currently inaccessible to humanitarian responders, however the Sudanese government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and partners are discussing a humanitarian mission to the affected area.