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Sudan military, SPLM-N El Hilu accuse each other of attacking civilians

August 8 - 2020 KAUDA / KHARTOUM
SPLM-N El Hilu Secretary General Ammar Daldoum in Kauda, August 7 (
SPLM-N El Hilu Secretary General Ammar Daldoum in Kauda, August 7 (

The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North faction headed by Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu) on Friday exchanged accusations of using violence against civilians in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan.

In a statement yesterday, Ammar Daldoum, Secretary General of the SPLM-N El Hilu, accused Sudan’s government forces of again attacking residents in the area of Khor El Waral, south-east of Delling.

Daldoum referred to a violent incident on October 14 least year, when elements of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) government militia* reportedly ambushed people near Khor Waral, the most western area controlled by the rebel group that is based in Kauda.

The violence prompted the delegation to temporarily withdraw from the peace negotiations with the Sudanese government in Juba in South Sudan.

According to the statement on Friday, members of a government militia under the leadership of officers known by the names Sheeriya and Abi Rabet, again used military force against residents of the area – which caused many people living in Rejoul El Marfaein, El Zalataya, and other places in the neighbourhood to flee, Daldoum stated.

He said that the forces were deployed to protect Baggara cattle herders belonging to the Hawazma tribe during their movement to El Goz in the north via the eastern herders’ passage route. After they passed the conflict-torn area of Onsho, they ambushed the road to El Waral and detained a number of people.

The rebel leader expressed his serious concern about “this aggressive behaviour”, and emphasised that the SPLM-N “will not hesitate to defend and protect” civilians in the areas under its control.

Daldoum concluded his statement by referring to the SPLM-N’s “repeated warnings about the consequences of the transitional government’s biased policies against “non-Arabs” in the southern, eastern, and western parts of the country.

The SAF however, accused the SPLM-N El Hilu of planting landmines on the road to Khor El Waral and attacking the herders and their guards while they were returning from the south with their cattle – as happens each year after the start of the rainy season.

The army said in a statement that the attack led to the loss of a number of lives among the residents of the area and members of the regular forces.

It explained that the armed forces in South Kordofan are carrying out their duty and provide security, while they remain “fully committed to the ceasefire and confidence-building measures”.

After months of silence, peace talks between Khartoum and the SPLM-N El Hilu resumed in end July, with the signing of a Declaration of Principles by the movement and the Sudanese Professionals Association, the driving force behind the country’s revolution that led to the ousting of the 30-year regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir.    

* The RSF militia, set up by the ousted Al Bashir regime in 2013, was officially integrated into the Sudan Armed Forces in August last year. At the same time however, the militia stays a force unto itself, commanded by ‘Hemeti’, who also is Deputy President of Sudan's Sovereign Council.

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