The attacks, reportedly launched by the Sudan Revolutionary Front, SRF, resulted in deaths, serious casualties and destruction of property.
The African Union Commission Chairperson, Dlamini Zuma, on Tuesday in Addis Ababa condemned the armed attacks on Um-Rawaba town in North Kordofan State and various areas in South Kordofan State, Sudan
“The attacks, reportedly launched by the Sudan Revolutionary Front, SRF, have resulted in deaths, serious casualties and destruction of property, including a power grid for the town,” she said.
Mrs. Zuma, in a statement released by the Commission’s Directorate of Information and Communication, said the attacks constituted a setback to the positive development in the region.
“Especially as they took place immediately after the commencement of direct talks between the Government of Sudan and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, SPLM-N, held in Addis Ababa, from 23 to 26 April, 2013.’’
Mrs. Zuma appealed to all parties to exercise maximum restraint and allow the political leadership to work through direct talks to reach a comprehensive resolution to the conflict in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile States.
The Commission Chairperson called on the Government of Sudan and SPLM-N to remain committed to their direct talks under the facilitation of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel and the Chairperson of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, IGAD, in the interest of peace, security and for the well-being of the Sudanese people.
Spokesperson of Sudan Armed Forces, SAF, al-Sawarmi Sa’ad, however, said that Khartoum had no evidence linking South Sudan to the rebels’ attack on the North Kordofan town of Um-Rawaba.
“We cannot accuse the South Sudan of supporting the Sudan Revolutionary Front , SRF, because we have no proof,” Mr. Sa’ad said in a statement aired by privately-owned Blue Nile TV on Tuesday. “South Sudan has no links to the recent assault on Um-Rawaba.”
The remarks highlight the dramatic improvement in ties between Khartoum and Juba in the wake of cooperation agreements that were signed last year but have only started getting implemented over the last two months.
Sudan has accused Juba of backing SRF and particularly the Sudan people Liberation Movement
North, SPLM-N, which fought alongside the mainstream SPLM during the civil war. South Sudan, however, dismissed the allegation saying that they had severed ties with SPLM-N a long time ago.
The rebel group is fighting SAF in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
In a related issue, the Sudanese information minister, Ahmed Osman, claimed that SPLM-N top military commander, Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu, was killed by a rocket that targeted a convoy of six vehicles during SRF’s recent offensive in Kordofan.
However, a statement by SPLM-N deputy chairman in South Kordofan, Adam Nur al-Din, described the reports as “wishful thinking.”
“Al-Hilu is alive and kicking and fighting the enemy in the front lines and I spoke with him minutes prior to drafting this statement,’’ he said in the statement.
The SRF rebels, on Saturday, reportedly launched the surprise attack storming the major town which lies around 500 km south of the capital, Khartoum.
The Nile Television announced that about 150 vehicles were vandalised and nine policemen, including a lieutenant, were killed, before the rebels withdrew later on the same day.
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