SUDAN WATCH: On Mon Feb 15: Jebel Marra, W. Darfur, W. Sudan: SLM-AWNur clashes with gov't forces in Kidinir and Laba or internal wrangling?

Friday, February 19, 2010

On Mon Feb 15: Jebel Marra, W. Darfur, W. Sudan: SLM-AWNur clashes with gov't forces in Kidinir and Laba or internal wrangling?

ON MONDAY, 15 February 2010, the advisor to the secretary of information in the SLM faction, Musa Ahmed Mohammed, told Sudan Radio Service (SRS) that there have been clashes between the movement and government forces in Kidinir and Laba.

However, another SLM field commander in the Western Jebel Marra section of the Abdelwahid-controlled area, Mohammed Sharaf, denied that clashes with the government occurred, saying that there was internal wrangling within the movement.

The UNAMID spokesperson, Noureddine Mezni, appealed to those involved to end the fighting.

[Noureddine Mezni]: “We received some reports from Jebel Marra about the tension there and also the fights and clashes between some groups together with reports about the government and Abdelwahid’s group but because we don’t have an office there we can’t give proper details or confirm the reports that we are getting. However, we do appeal to the groups to stop fighting so that the UNAMID can be able to go to that area.”

The attacks come while other anti-government groups who have been meeting in Doha since 24 January are seeking to reach common ground ahead of direct talks with the government delegation.

Read full story:
Unrest in Jebel Marra - SLM Clashes with SAF or Internal Wrangling?
From SRS - Sudan Radio Service, Tuesday, 16 February 2010:
(Nairobi) - The anti-government group, the Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdelwahid al-Nur faction says its troops clashed with government forces on Monday in Jebel Marra, Western Darfur.

The advisor to the secretary of information in the SLM faction, Musa Ahmed Mohammed, told SRS on Monday that there have been clashes between the movement and government forces in Kidinir and Laba.

[Musa Ahmed]: “A group from the government moved to the area of Kidinir and clashed with a group from Abdelwahid’s SLM yesterday at around 11.30. Our forces however managed to push the government forces backwards and at the moment SLM is in control of that place and also in Laiba. SAF and Janjaweed clashed with our forces yesterday and the day before yesterday. These clashes had a negative effect on the government side and now the SLM is in full control of the Laba area.”

However, another SLM field commander in the Western Jebel Marra section of the Abdelwahid-controlled area, Mohammed Sharaf, denied that clashes with the government occurred, saying that there was internal wrangling within the movement.

[Mohammed Sharaf]: “There were no clashes between the government and us. What happened was that, amongst us there are people who claim that they belong to Abdelwahid’s group and they disagree on the unity issue. We had agreed in the past that there should be unity between us but there are people who do not want unity and they started to create problems with some of the leaders who are pro-unity like Abdallah Abakar and others. And so yesterday they rented around 500 horses from the Arab tribes and entered some SLM areas and stole a lot of things.”

The UNAMID spokesperson, Noureddine Mezni, appealed to those involved to end the fighting.

[Noureddine Mezni]: “We received some reports from Jebel Marra about the tension there and also the fights and clashes between some groups together with reports about the government and Abdelwahid’s group but because we don’t have an office there we can’t give proper details or confirm the reports that we are getting. However, we do appeal to the groups to stop fighting so that the UNAMID can be able to go to that area.”

The attacks come while other anti-government groups who have been meeting in Doha since 24 January are seeking to reach common ground ahead of direct talks with the government delegation.
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HERE is a copy of a report published by Sudan Tribune, Wednesday, 17 February 2010 re clashes between SAF & SLM-AWNur in northern and southern Jebel Marra. Note that, reportedly, also in Jebel Moon, western Darfur, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said it had cleared the region from “criminal bandits” backed by the Sudanese army.

UNAMID calls for "maximum restraint" in Darfur
From Sudan Tribune, Wednesday, 17 February 2010:
February 16, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – Darfur peacekeepers have called on the Sudanese warring parties to exercise maximum restraint to save the lives of thousands of civilians displaced by the recent surge of violence in the region.

[Photo] Darfuri refugees camp out on the border, near Birak, a few kilometeres from the border with Sudan, March 6, 2008. (Reuters)

Sudanese army attacked this week the positions of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al Nur (SLM-AW) in northern and southern Jebel Marra. The attacks occurred while other rebel groups gathered in Doha for peace talks with the government, but SLM-AW refuses to join the negotiating table.

Also in Jebel Moon, western Darfur, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said it had cleared the region from “criminal bandits” backed by the Sudanese army. Pro-Government press reported last week clashes between JEM and troops loyal to Minni Minnawi, former rebel leader turned Senior Presidential Assistant.

"UNAMID’s peacekeeping forces are increasing their security presence in and around the region, to prevent a further escalation in the violence, said a press statement released Tuesday by the hybrid operation.

It also pointed out to its close collaboration with aid agencies to urgently meet the humanitarian needs of the newly displaced peoples.

The new head of the Mission, Ibrahim Gambari, discussed the military escalation in Darfur last week with government and rebel delegations and voiced his "grave concerns".

"Such confrontations may negatively affect the ongoing peace process, which has recently seen significant strides towards bringing stability to the region," he said.

The UN says up to 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million fled their homes since ethnic minority rebels in the western region of Darfur first rose up against the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum in February 2003.

The Sudanese government disputes the death toll saying 10,000 people died. (ST)

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