Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

Fighting breaks out in Sudan's Blue Nile border state

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 19 Feb 2013 03:05 GMT
Author: Reuters
hum-war
Reuters
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

CAIRO, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Fighting broke out in a Sudanese border state between the military and rebels trying to overthrow President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, both sides said on Monday, and the government said its forces had killed scores of insurgents.

The rebels gave a different account, saying the government forces had attacked civilian areas.

The conflict in Blue Nile started in September 2011, a few months after neighbouring South Sudan seceded under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war.

Rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, another Sudanese border state, fought as part of the southern rebel army during that war, but were left on the Sudanese side of the border after partition.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes because of the fighting since 2011.

On Monday, Sudanese state media reported the armed forces had taken the Muffa area in Blue Nile and "expelled the remnants of the rebels," who had been backed by tanks and artillery.

The army killed 66 rebels, it said, quoting the armed forces spokesman al-Sawarmi Khalid. The armed forces suffered a "small number" of casualties, it said, without giving details.

The rebels, known as the SPLM-North, said the Sudanese armed forces and allied militia had started a "military dry season campaign" on Feb. 14 in a heavily populated area at Muffa.

It said the fighting had forced thousands of civilians to flee toward Ethiopia and South Sudan.

Events in the two states are difficult to verify independently because of government restrictions on media, and the two sides often give conflicting versions of the fighting.

Some 2 million people died in Sudan's north-south civil war, which ended in 2005 with the peace deal that paved the way for South Sudan's independence.

Khartoum accuses Juba of continuing to back the rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan. South Sudan denies the accusation. (Reporting by Alexander Dziadosz and Khalid Abdelaziz; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus