Home | News    Saturday 10 May 2008

Sudanese army steps up security in the capital


May 9, 2008 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan’s army has stepped up security in Khartoum, saying it has intelligence that a heavily armed convoy of Darfur rebels has advanced to the neighbouring Kordofan province and is planning an attack.

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Police and troops patrol downtown Khartoum and areas around the city , Aug. 2, 2005. (AP)

But the rebel Justice and Equality Movement denied any move on Sudan’s capital and accused the government of trying to distract attention from recent bombing raids on Darfur that have brought international condemnation.

Heavy security operations began late on Thursday in Khartoum. Bridges were closed and checkpoints set up in the streets, forcing many people to stay at home.

"There were some forces from the Justice and Equality Movement who crossed from Chad through Darfur to Kordofan where they were aiming to cause destruction in Khartoum," an army spokesman said. "The army is on a heightened state of alert."

An advance to Kordofan would be the closest the Darfur rebels have come to Khartoum in years. North Kordofan borders Khartoum state and almost abuts the capital itself.

The army spokesman said the rebels had halted their advance and remained in Kordofan after they found out forces in Khartoum had been alerted. The state news agency quoted an army statement as saying troops were on alert in other cities too.

There was no independent confirmation of the rebel advance in the vast country of deserts and scrub, where military movements can be hard to track. And reports were conflicting from JEM.

A senior JEM official in Britain al-Tahir al-Feki said JEM did have forces in Kordofan but were not planning to attack Khartoum. But the JEM humanitarian coordinator for West Darfur, Sheikh el-Din Mahin, told Reuters from Darfur JEM troops were on their way to the capital. "We have forces close to Khartoum and we can hit Khartoum at any time," he said.


Senior JEM field commander phones were off on Friday, which Mahin said was because of the operation. The foreign office issued a travel advisory warning any nationals against travel to Kordofan.

"You should be aware of the risk of rebel attacks spreading outside Darfur and exercise extreme caution at all times," it said.

Two senior diplomats in Khartoum told Reuters they had been warned by the Sudanese foreign ministry of an imminent attack on Khartoum and had that the international community had raised all security measures.

"After they have been bombing Darfur and committed a massacre in Shegeg Karo ... everybody is condemning them, so the best way for them to divert attention away is to do this," JEM spokesman Ahmed Hussein Adam said from London.

Sudanese planes last Sunday bombed a school and market in Shegeg Karo killing 12 people including 6 children, witnesses said. The bombing was condemned internationally.

Sudan has falsely accused political opponents of planning coups in the past.

The increasing violence in Darfur has added to doubts over prospects for a peace deal. The five-year-old conflict has driven 2.5 million from their homes with international experts estimating some 200,000 have died. Khartoum says only 10,000 people have been killed.

The world’s largest humanitarian operation provides aid to two-thirds of the population of Darfur’s west, which borders Chad. Darfuri rebels took up arms in 2003, accusing the government of neglect and marginalisation.


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  • 10 May 2008 08:21, by THE GAME

    shots JEM or Darfur rebel yeah bomb OR attack the Khartoum even its army and police. jem killed all the arabs and islam, they migrated to sudan, as we are original people of sudan, we got to do something about ARAB PEOPLE.SPLM,JEM AND SLM SHOULD DO ONE JOB TO GET RID OF THE TERIOSTS IN OUR BEAUTIFULZ COUNTRY.

    repondre message

    • 10 May 2008 08:42, by DB Malish

      An attack on Khartoum is possible but not now. The Darfur people have all the rights to defend themselves from a government that want to eliminate them from their land.

      The current acussations of rebel advance to Khartoum are just creation of the Khartoum government to divert attention of people from the attacks they made on the Darfur people of the recent passed days.

      Khartoum continues to create a cease fire in the South and war in Darfur. Am not that sure the southern case is over but hope that it is the end.

      Darfur people unite and fight one enemy. Do not fight yourself and Khartoum comes to finish you. We are behind you and would love to be part of the solution to your problems but not the prolem itself.

      repondre message

  • 11 May 2008 10:21, by Augustino

    surprise attack happened yesterday in capital city of sudan for the first time in the history of sudanese rebel.the un analysed arrest of non- rebels taken by the government of khartoum is stuppid and not realistic because the attack was carried out by millitary forces of (jem )against government soldiers.to prove this statement the attackers were in uniform & millitary equipment but the victims who are in custody now are civillians mostly children. the government should be keen in tuckling this issue because it is army to army confrontation and not army with civillians.
    therefore, the idea of looking for khalil( rebel leader)in khartoum is way of killing of the innocent Darfurian civillians only.
    augustino in sydney

    repondre message

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