The Terror Journal

A Journal on Terrorism and Genocide

Sudan says 28 killed in clashes with Darfur rebels

Darfur RebelsSeventeen rebels and 11 Sudanese soldiers have been killed in clashes in Darfur, the army said, days after Khartoum signed a goodwill agreement with an insurgent movement.

The statement released to state media late on Friday was Sudan’s first acknowledgement that it was fighting the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) despite the tentative deal, which did not include a ceasefire but was meant to pave the way for peace talks.

The renewed violence has come at a sensitive time in Darfur, where all sides in the near six-year conflict are waiting for International Criminal Court judges to decide whether to issue an arrest warrant for Sudan’s president on charges of orchestrating war crimes in the region.

Sudan’s armed forces spokesman said the army clashed with JEM in the Donki area on Thursday, just 25 km (15 miles) northwest of El Fasher, the capital of north Darfur and headquarters of the region’s joint U.N./African Union peacekeeping force.

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Brigadier Uthman al-Agbash told the Sudanese Media Center the army defeated the rebels and chased them to the mountainous eastern Jabel Marra area.

JEM commander Suleiman Sandal confirmed the Donki fighting but told Reuters the rebels had routed the army and chased their forces toward El Fasher.

Agbash said JEM forces had received supplies and support from the government of neighboring Chad, repeating charges made by Sudanese government officials last month.

Relations between the oil-producing neighbors are on a knife edge after Chad also said last month Sudan was backing a new insurgent coalition against the N’Djamena government.

JEM accused Sudan’s armed forces of launching ground and air attacks on their positions on Wednesday, a day after the deal. The reports were denied by the army.

Mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms against the government in 2003, accusing Khartoum of neglecting the region’s development. Khartoum mobilized mostly Arab militias to crush the rebellion.

International experts say the fighting has killed 200,000 and uprooted 2.7 million people. Sudan’s government says 10,000 have been killed and accuses the Western media of exaggerating the conflict.

Source: Reuters

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