Dar­fur clashes leave 40 rebels dead: army

The Pak Banker - - 6i Nternational -

KHAR­TOUM: Clashes be­tween govern­ment forces and fight­ers from an al­liance of Dar­fur rebel groups have left 40 rebels dead, Su­dan's army said Satur­day, an­nounc­ing a fig­ure con­tested by the in­sur­gents.

The fight­ing oc­curred on Fri­day in the Shangil Tobaya re­gion, about 65 kilo­me­tres (40 miles) south of El-Fasher, his­toric cap­i­tal of Dar­fur in western Su­dan which has been gripped by civil war since 2003, the army said.

"The army at­tacked and de­feated an al­liance of the Jus­tice and Equal­ity Move­ment ( JEM) and the Su­dan Lib­er­a­tion Army of Minni Min­nawi (SLAMin­nawi)," the of­fi­cial SUNA news agency quoted army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad as say­ing.

"Forty rebels were killed and a num­ber wounded," the spokesman said, adding that two sol­diers were killed and 13 wounded.

The rebels in a state­ment how­ever pro­claimed vic­tory in Fri­day's fight­ing and re­ported "two deaths and some in­juries" in their ranks.

Since Thurs­day, fight­ers from JEM-the most armed rebel group in Dar­fur-and SLA-Min­nawi have been fight­ing along­side each other against govern­ment troops, ac­cord­ing to JEM mil­i­tary spokesman Ali al-Wafi.

Ac­cord­ing to Wafi, the Su­dan Lib­er­a­tion Army of Ab­del­wahid Nur has also joined the newly formed Al­liance of Re­sis­tance Forces but a top SLA-Ab­del­wahid of­fi­cial said talks were on­go­ing and noth­ing had been de­cided yet.

Such an al­liance would bring to­gether all the main Dar­fur rebel groups which have op­posed the cen­tral govern­ment in Khar­toum since 2003, ac­cus­ing it of ne­glect­ing the devel­op­ment of the vast desert re­gion.

Since the civil war broke out, some 300,000 peo­ple have been killed and an­other 2.7 mil­lion dis­placed, ac­cord­ing to UN fig­ures. Su­dan says 10,000 peo­ple have died in the con­flict.

The Khar­toum govern­ment has been try­ing to se­cure for months a com­pre­hen­sive peace agree­ment with all Dar­fur rebel groups to no avail.

Min­nawi is the only rebel leader to have struck an agree­ment with Khar­toum, but re­la­tions be­tween them have soured and the rebels clashed with the army ear­lier this month.

Ac­cord­ing to UN of­fi­cials, the clashes be­tween Min­nawi's sup­port­ers and troops have forced the dis­place­ment of more than 12,000 peo­ple in less than a week. -Ap

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.