Sudan rebels claim attack on Habila garrison in South Kordofan
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) reportedly defeated government troops in an attack on Habila garrison on Saturday. The Sudanese army said that the rebel forces targeted civilians and government facilities in Habila.
In a statement on Saturday, rebel spokesman Arnu Ngutulu Lodi announced that SPLM-N fighters “attacked and liberated the military garrison at Habila town, [..] 30 km southeast of Delling”.
He reported the killing of 54 government troops. The rebels seized five Land Cruiser pick-ups, a Korean jeep, four Dushka machineguns, five 82mm mortars, three 60mm mortars,22 AKM rifles, and a considerable quantity of shells and ammunition, the statement reads.
The spokesman added that Habila is the centre of the Mechanised Agricultural Schemes. “It symbolises the unjust land grabbing policies of the ruling elites in Khartoum.
“More than two million feddan [840,000 ha] around the town were confiscated from the local population and distributed to absentee land-lords from outside the region”.
The spokesman for the Sudan Armed Forces, Col. El Sawarmi Khaled Saad, denied the attack on the garrison. He told the Sudan News Agency that the SPLM-N rebels had attacked Habila, destroyed houses and government facilities, and torched the town market.
He said that the rebels fled the area, after the army sent military reinforcements to the garrison, and regained control of the town.
According to the latest weekly bulletin of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan, about 23,600 people fled their villages in the Nuba Mountains, following clashes between government forces and SPLM-N fighters between 9 and 18 March. The newly displaced, most of them women and children, sought refuge in El Abbasiya, Abu Jubaiha and Rashad.
About 60 percent of them have received initial relief assistance, OCHA reported.
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