Friday, March 30, 2012

Fighting Rages Near Key Sudan Border Village

Fighting rages near key Sudan border village

Saturday, March 31, 2012
The News, Pakistan

KHARTOUM: Sudanese troops fought deadly battles with rebel fighters in the strategic village of Talodi, close to the border with the newly independent south, sources on both sides said on Friday.

The clashes came as negotiators were finalising the details of a joint UN, Arab League and African Union plan for aid to the area, where food shortages have sparked global concern. Hollywood actor George Clooney, who recently visited the war zone, highlighted the issue earlier this month when he and several members of the US Congress were arrested outside the US embassy in Khartoum. They were calling for an end to a Sudanese offensive they fear will cause thousands to starve.

Sudan’s military said it repulsed the assualt on Talodi by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), ethnic minority rebels formerly allied with the SPLM which is now the ruling party in the south.

The army spokesman, Sawarmi Khaled Saad, said he did not have immediate casualty figures. The SPLM-N said it killed more than 20 government troops. “We lost four, and seven wounded” on the rebel side, said SPLM-N spokesman Arnu Ngutulu Lodi.

The figures were impossible to verify. Lodi said that in fighting which began on Thursday and was continuing on Friday insurgents seized two Sudanese army outposts, Mafloa and Um Dual, which are several kilometres (miles) from Talodi. “They are on the main logistics road from Talodi,” which is near a key junction between South Kordofan state capital Kadugli and the south.

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