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Sudan's rebels, army clash in Abu Zabad, North Kordofan

November 17 - 2013 ABU ZABAD

The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF - an alliance of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile rebel groups) announced that its troops entered the town of Abu Zabad, 150km southwest of El Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan.

Abu Zabad residents told Radio Dabanga that on 17 November at about 6am, they woke up in panic to the sound of explosions and sounds of machine guns. They hid under their beds. Others fled out of the town. “Gunmen in Land Cruisers cars entered Abu Zabad, targeting sites of the army, security and the police. In the afternoon we heard the sound of bombardments by the Sudanese Air Force, but we do not know if there were any casualties, because we hid inside our houses.”

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, Mohamed Bileil Eisa Zayed, Vice President of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and JEM Secretary for Kordofan, reported that JEM forces on 17 November at about 8am attacked Abu Zabad, located at the main railway line to El Obeid. They killed, injured and captured dozens of Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) troops and government-backed militiamen, and seized several military vehicles and equipment, in addition to food supplies. Among the SAF troops killed are Capt. Adam Mohamed Mahoula and Lt. Ali Bashar Eisawi. Col. Ahmed Barakatallah was wounded.

Zayed stated that the JEM now controls the entire town and in particular the SAF, security forces and Popular Defence Forces compounds, as well as police stations and posts. “The rest of the SAF troops, militia forces and government officials fled in the direction of El Khiwei, El Nahud and El Sunut.

Colonel El Sawarmi Khaled Saad, the SAF Spokesman said the army repulsed the attack and inflicted huge material damages to the insurgents. They also killed a large number of rebels, among them their leader, Fideil Mohamed Rahoum, and regained control of Abu Zabad.

Zayed confirmed the death of Rahoum to Radio Dabanga. The rebels controlled the entire town until about 4pm on the same day, after which they retreated “for the sake of the town residents, in particular after the government started bombing”.

File photo


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