Sudan defence ministry admits clashes in C. Darfur

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The Sudanese Ministry of Defense Monday acknowledged the outbreak of fighting in Jebel Marra in Darfur with “sleeper cells” of the Sudan Liberation Movement – Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW) for the first time since the beginning of clashes last March.

“The recent skirmishes of the security forces (in Jebel Marra) were with the sleeper cells of Abdel Wahid al-Nur and the mercenaries who rob the shepherds,” said the Minister of State for Defence Ali Mohamed Salim in a closed-door briefing in the parliament according to MP Siham Hassan Hasballa who was speaking to reporters on Monday.

Hasballa further said that the minister of state told them that 67 people have been killed or wounded as a result of the fighting including 51 civilians.

The head of Darfur hybrid peacekeeping mission Jeremiah Mamabolo Sunday said concerned by the recent fighting in central Darfur between the government and SLM-AW and urged both sides to “exercise restraint and consider the impact of renewed fighting on vulnerable civilians”.

On his part, the chairman of the parliamentary committee on defence and security al-Hadi Adam reiterated the commitment of the Sudanese armed forces to the cease-fire declared by President Omer al-Bashir adding it has the right to fight in self-defence if attacked.

“(Rebel) dormant cells are hidden among civilians, and they are dangerous because they are waiting for events to exploit them.”

Also, he revealed that the security services are working to control dormant cells and bring them to trial.

(ST)

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