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Sudan: army accuses armed group of violating ceasefire

October 20, 2022 at 12:28 pm

Sudan’s army military units in Al-Fashqa area, Sudan. [Sudanese Presidential Palace/Anadolu Agency]

The Sudanese army accused yesterday one of the largest armed movements in the country of stoking violence in West Kordofan and violating a ceasefire agreement that has lasted for three years. The leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM–N), Abdelaziz Adam Al-Hilu, denied any responsibility.

Clashes have been taking place between members of the Messiria and Nubia tribes since Friday over a land dispute in the town of Lagawa, which is close to an area controlled by the SPLM-N. According to the UN, fighting continued on Tuesday and shelling was launched from nearby mountains. It said that at least 12 people had been killed and 20 others injured as of Sunday, in addition to the displacement of at least four thousand people fleeing the burning and looting.

The Sudanese army accused the SPLM–N of firing mortars towards Lagawa and injuring two members of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and attacking others.

This is the most significant escalation with the SPLM–N, which controls areas in West Kordofan and southern Sudan, since it signed a ceasefire agreement with the army under the rule of former President Omar Al-Bashir in 2019.

“What happened is a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement and hostilities with the government of Sudan,” said the army. “The armed forces affirm that they will continue to carry out their duties to protect all citizens and will confront any attempt by the SPLM–N to shuffle the cards and intervene in favour of any of the social components in the region, in a way that preserves security and peaceful coexistence for all social components without discrimination.”

An official of the SPLM–N denied the allegation and told Reuters that it was baseless. The movement had previously said that the Messiria militias backed by the Rapid Support Forces attacked members of the Nubia tribe.

READ: 173 civilians killed in 4 months, amid continued fighting in South Sudan