World Bulletin / News Desk
Rebel forces in Sudan's restive Darfur region said Tuesday evening that they had captured a town in North Darfur State – a claim denied moments later by a government official.
In a brief statement, Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) spokesman Adam Saleh Abkar said that rebel forces had managed to establish full control over Tuwaisha, some 80km east of North Darfur State capital Al-Fashir.
However, North Darfur Governor Othman Youssef told the local Ashorooq satellite channel that government troops had successfully repelled the rebel attack.
"Clashes erupted on the town's outskirts, but they [rebels] failed to capture it," Youssef said, admitting that fighting had continued past midnight.
The violence came two days after Ibrahim Gandour, Khartoum's top negotiator, blamed the SPLM-N for the failure of a fresh round of peace talks in Addis Ababa.
The African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), which is mediating the talks, announced Sunday that negotiations between Khartoum and the SPLM-N had been suspended.
Outlawed by Khartoum, the SPLM-N has waged an active insurgency against the Sudanese government in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states since 2011.
The movement consists of fighters who sided with the south during Sudan's two-decade-long civil war, which ended with a 2005 peace treaty that opened the door to South Sudan's independence in 2011.
Since the latest conflict began, some 1.2 million people have been internally displaced or otherwise severely affected, according UN figures.
Nearly 240,000 Sudanese refugees have fled the conflict to neighboring countries.Last Mod: 05 Mart 2014, 11:54