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Sudan’s Ministry of Defence denies breaching ceasefire

September 17 - 2017 KHARTOUM
The area of Taga in the Angessana Hills (OCHA map of Blue Nile state)
The area of Taga in the Angessana Hills (OCHA map of Blue Nile state)

The Sudanese Ministry of Defence has denied claims by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) that the army violated the government ceasefire in Blue Nile state.

In a statement on Saturday, Ahmed Khalifa El Shami, Spokesman for the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) asserted that the army has not violated the ceasefire since it was declared in June 2016.

He was reacting to a press release of the SPLM-N faction loyal to Malik Agar on Friday, in which spokesman Mubarak Ardol reported about an army attack on rebel positions in the area of Taga in the Blue Nile state’s Engassana Hills on Thursday afternoon.

El Shami stated that the allegations of the SPLM-N “were but an attempt seeking to undermine the current visit of the Sudanese Minister for Foreign Affairs to Washington DC”.

FA Minister Ibrahim Ghandour is currently visiting the USA at an official invitation from the US State Department. He will attend the UN General Assembly’s annual debate in New York as well.

In June 2016, President Al Bashir announced a unilateral ceasefire for the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile state). Not much later the decision was extended to Darfur. The ceasefire was extended several times after that, the last time on 2 July, for a period of four months.

The SPLM-N responded in a press release on Saturday by calling the SAF statement “deceptive” and “an attempt to mislead the local, regional, and international public opinion on the violations of the declared cessation of hostilities”.

Spokesman Ardol further reported renewed clashes between SAF troops and rebel combatants in the Engassana Hills on Saturday.

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