Sudan: conflicting casualty reports in South Kordofan battle

SOUTH KORDOFAN

(

8 May

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The rebel coalition Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) claims to have “inflicted heavy casualties on government troops” in South Kordofan. The Sudan army (SAF) spokesman refutes this.

SRF Colonel Al Gadi Rumboy told Radio Dabanga from the battlefield that his forces have killed 60 Sudanese army soldiers who attempted to recapture Abu Karshola in South Kordofan on Monday. Colonel Rumboy added that his forces have captured nine SAF soldiers.

“SRF forces also destroyed a battalion belonging to the security and intelligence services led by Colonel Saber Al Nasih and Lt Colonel Mohamed Fadul, as well as another battalion of ‘Mujahedeen’ led by Captain Al Tayeb Al Amin Kubba. Among the dead are Major Mahdi Mohamed Al Naeem,” Colonel Rumboy said.

Responding to reports of the SRF shooting down an SAF MiG aircraft, Colonel Rumboy confirmed that the aircraft was shot down on Monday after being hit by his forces. “It crashed about 3km from the Kale area in South Kordofan.”

Sudan Army spokesman, Colonel Al Sawarmi Khalid Saad, said in a statement that the SAF strongly refutes claims of one of its aircraft being shot down. He said his forces did not lose any aircraft and the reports are “ungrounded and unfounded”. He further denied that rebels have defeated the SAF.

“Clashes between the Sudanese army and SRF took place in Khor Al Tina, in the eastern part of the state of South Kordofan, where the SAF in fact inflicted losses on the rebels.” He asserted that the SAF inflicted losses on rebel forces in Khor Al Tina and that the claims by the SRF are false.

“All SAF troops on the battlefield are in complete safety. They are now working to clear the area of rebels,” Colonel Saad said.

On Monday, the SRF military claimed to have “inflicted heavy losses” on the Sudan Armed Forces in Abu Karshola, who were trying to recapture the town. Abu Karshola has allegedly been under rebel control for more than a week.

Hostilities broke out in the area on 27 April when the SRF allegedly attacked the town of Umm Rawaba in North Kordofan. The town is situated east of the state’s capital El Obeid on the route to Rabak, capital of White Nile State.

However, according to Colonel Rumboy, his forces “repelled the attack and pursued NCP troops until inside Abu Karshola and Umm Rawaba” and withdrew from the latter.

Clashes in the areas of Umm Rawaba and the nearby Abu Karshola led to the displacement of thousands of citizens to El Rahad town in North Kordofan.

Sources from El Rahad town stated that the number of displaced people from Abu Karshola continues to grow. The count now exceeds 27,000, as reported by Radio Tamazuj.

File photo by Albert Gonzalez Farran/ UNAMID

Related: 'Sudan' air raid kills 16 civilians near Abu Karshola, South Kordofan (7 May 2013)