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SPLM-N announces end of South Kordofan clashes

SPLM-N leader Malik Agar (2L) attends a graduation ceremony for SPLA-N fighters in Blue Nile State on 29 January 2017 - (ST photo)
February 22, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan people’s Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N) announced the end of recent clashes in South Kordofan with the Sudanese army but pointed to the continued shelling attacks on its positions by the government artillery.

The Sudanese army and the (SPLM-N) on Tuesday traded accusations over the violation of a cessation of hostilities in South Kordofan state. The military escalation occurred after the killing of seven cattle herders by unknown gunmen, 38 kilometres west of Kadougli.

The SPLM-N leadership said in a statement issued on Wednesday that the SPLA-N chief of general staff reported that Monday’s clashes have stopped and reiterated its commitment to the unilateral cessation of hostilities.

The rebel group further accused the government of planning the attack, adding it sought in vain to involve local tribes in the operation. It further reiterated that the killing of cattle keepers was committed by the Sudanese government militias.

The statement, which comes in reply to the accusations of the Sudanese army that the rebel fighters had started the hostilities and violated the truce, said Monday’s fighting took place at the SPLM-N-controlled Almchaih village.

"So, the SPLA-N cannot attack an area it already controls," the statement pointed.

The SPLM-N leadership said it will continue to observe the truce as long as the Sudanese army remains out of the rebel-controlled areas.

"SPLM leadership reiterate to the Sudanese people its commitment to the cessation of hostilities whenever the other party commits itself. Also, we will not initiate an attack but we will not hesitate to defend ourselves".

(ST)