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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Fighting erupts in Nuba Mountains, 19 killed

January 14, 2009 (KHARTOUM) – Armed irregular forces on Tuesday attacked Nuba villages and SPLA military camps in Southern Kordofan, a flashpoint in central Sudan where some of the heaviest fighting occurred during the 1983-2005 civil war.

The clashes reportedly killed 19 people, said the Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT), naming seven of them.

According to SOAT, men from different clans within the Arabic-speaking Hawazma tribe, armed with advanced weaponry, launched an attack on Nuba villages and SPLA military camps in the area of Khor El Delib, Rashad locality, prompting SPLA to retaliate.

Other reports suggest that some 400 police and members of the Popular Defense Forces–the type of militias once mobilized for the war in South Sudan and now in Darfur—attacked the Joint Integrated Unit in Khor El Delib.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) maintains forces in the area despite expectations that the former rebel group will eventually withdraw. That prospect appears unlikely as a military build-up continues in the area: in December 2008, the Sudan Armed Forces deployed more than six battalions in Southern Kordofan, said a SPLM spokesman, Yein Matthew.

The SPLA’s political wing in the area, meanwhile, is engaged in a struggle against Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party for control of the state government.

Among the dead from the clashes Tuesday are one SPLA soldier, Motasium Ismail Naim, a Tagoi from Al Faid, and six Hazama. These are Hamida Abdel Rahman, Abu Hamaid Gargar and Musa Tabig of the Hawazma-Togia from Khor Al Dalib; Ali Sayed Koba, a Hawazma-Togia from Al Fayed Umm Abdel alla; and Omer Al Mahboum and Bashair Omer Koko of the Hawazma from Al Fayed Umm Abdel alla.

South Kordofan’s state information minister, Ali Kuku, told Reuters that additional clashes took place in an area called Abre, resulting in nine nomads shot dead.

(ST)