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Sudanese army accuses rebels of attacking its position in Jebel Marra


June 2, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese army accused forces loyal to the Revolutionary Awakening Council of Musa Hilal and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) of attacking its positions in Jebel Marra area in Darfur.

SLM-AW fighters on guard during a visit by UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari to Fanga Suk village, in East Jebel Marra, West Darfur, on 18 March 2011 (Photo: Reuters)However, the SLM-AW denied the allegations and accused the Sudanese army of attacking its position.

"While the transitional government seeks to achieve comprehensive peace, a force belonging to the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Revolutionary Awakening Council attacked our troupes in western Jebel Marra area in a clear and explicit violation to the ceasefire, in an attempt to return Darfur to a state of war and security chaos," said al-Tahir Mohamed Ibrahim Abuhaja the media advisor to the commander-in-chief of the Sudanese army in a statement released on Tuesday.

"The armed forces condemn and denounce this attack and confirm their right to protect their positions and citizens against the terrorist and criminal acts carried out by these groups," Abuhaja added.

The official statement did not indicate whether the two groups carried out the attack jointly or separately.

The SLM-AW on 31 March declared its commitment to cease hostilities in response to a call by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire in the conflict-hit areas across the world to allow efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus and deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians.

While the notorious tribal leader Hilal who was known also as the Janjaweed leader has been in detention for more than a year. However, his partisans vowed to fight the government.

SLM-AW denies allegations

Mohamed Abdel Rahaman al-Nayer, SLM-AW spokesman issued a statement rejecting the Sudanese army accusations and reiterated its commitment to the cessation of hostilities.

"We reaffirm the movement’s full commitment to the unilateral cessation of hostilities, which we have renewed at different times to achieve comprehensive peace and the goals of the glorious December revolution," said al-Nayer.

He added they did not attack any area controlled by the government forces, but the latter assaulted their position in western Jebel Marra on Monday 1st June.

Our fighters "were able to repel the aggression and inflict heavy human and material losses on the assailants".

The rebel spokesman they would continue their efforts to achieve a just and comprehensive peace and to complete the goals of December revolution.

The SLM-AW refused to take part in the Juba mediated peace talks. Earlier this year the group’s exiled leader said he would launch an initiative for a comprehensive peace conference inside the country.

However, the holdout group postponed its plan until the end of the coronavirus crisis.

The attack intervenes as the UN Security Council prepared to extend the UNAMID mandate until 31 December the date of its definitive departure from the region.


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