May 27, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese army on Monday regained the control of South Kordofan town of Abu Kershola which had been captured by the fighters of Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) one month ago.
Abu Kershola, in north-eastern of South Kordofan and on the border with North Kordofan, had ben seized by SRF fighters on 27 April, after hitting Um Rawaba located some 100 km from Al-Obeid, capital of North Kordofan state.
In a statement broadcasted by the state media, Sudanese defence minister Abdel-Rahim Hussein announced the “liberation” of Abu Kershola, stressing that the fighting against the rebels will continue “until peace prevail in the country”.
The minister said that “this victory is the result of the unity” of all the regular forces including -SAF, Popular Defence Forces, the police, and security forces – which took art in the fight against the rebels.
However, SRF spokesperson Abu El Gassim Al-Haj announced that the rebel alliance decided to withdraw its fighters from the area due to the “economic blockade imposed by the Sudanese army” on the town since last April and its disastrous humanitarian impact on the civilians.
Al-Haj, in a statement released on Monday, further said they intended to protect civilians against the “scorched-earth policy” practiced by the regime and the daily bombing on Abu Kershola.
Rebel source say there are 16,000 civilians who remained without food as result of the siege imposed by the army since 27 April.
Ahmed Tugud, a leading member of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) told Sudan Tribune the decision to withdraw Abu Kershola had been taken since several day.
“When the Sudanese army entered the town today, it was empty of our forces which evacuated it since three days”, he said.
Also the SRF released the minutes of a leadership meeting held from 23 to 27 May. The text seen by Sudan Tribune shows that it was decided since 23 May to pull out the rebel forces from Abu Kershola.
The meeting agreed that the military operations have successfully “achieved its objectives of disrupting (SAF) command and control centers and draining” the government troops.
The report further said that the capture of Abk Kershola paved the way for the implementation of phase (B) of rebel plans, without further details.
Sudanese army military officials said in Khartoum that war planes bombed the rebel positions insides the two and around it on Monday while the troops advanced progressively towards the area, adding they seized back the whole rebel positions at around 05.00pm.
The army said an important number of rebel fighters were killed and others captured as others fled the town in direction of Kauda or towards Darfur region, adding they are chasing the retreating forces.
The military officials told reporters that before to launch the attack, the army had intelligence that rebel fighters were drained by the continued bombardment and shelling of their positions and many wanted to leave the area after the lack of food and fuel.
They added also the besieged rebels had no means to evacuate the wounded fighters, a matter that affected the morale of their forces on the ground.