(Recasts with fighting in South Kordofan, details)
KHARTOUM, Sept 22 (Reuters) - New clashes broke out on Thursday in Sudan's
main oil state South Kordofan, where the army has been fighting for months
armed opposition groups for months, both sides said.
In a separate development, police fired teargas to disperse a protest by
hundreds of tribesmen in underdeveloped east Sudan, where dissent against
Khartoum has been simmering.
Tensions have been building up in several border regions to newly
independent South Sudan where the army has been fighting armed groups.
Clashes were also reported this week in the Western region of Darfur, scene
of another insurgency.
On Thursday, the opposition group SPLM-North in Sudan's main oil state South
Kordofan said its fighters had driven out the army from the Khuwar Dalib
area near the border to South Sudan.
A SPLM-North spokesman said 30 government soldiers and two rebels had been
"Our troops are now in Khuwar Dalib," he said.
But a government official denied rebels had taken the area, saying the army
had fought back the attack, the state-linked Sudanese Media Center (SMC)
More than 30 rebels had been killed in the fighting, Rashad commissioner
Khalid Mukhtar told SMC, adding that two rebels had been taken prisoners.
Fighting broke out in June in South Kordofan which is home to large
populations which sided with the south during decades of civil war with
Khartoum. In September, violence spread to neighbouring Blue Nile state
where also many former southern rebels live.
Khartoum accuses its former foe of supporting the armed opposition in the
two border states. Juba denies the charges.
Events in Sudanese border region are difficult to verify as most foreign
media cannot travel there and aid agencies say they have no access to
PROTEST IN EAST SUDAN
In Sudan's east, police fired on Thursday teargas to disperse a protest of
hundreds of tribesman who demanded the sacking of the local police chief
after two residents were killed the day before, residents said.
Shots could be heard in the town of Gedaref though it was unclear who had
fired, a resident said by telephone.
On Wednesday, clashes broke out in Gedaref near the border with Eritrea when
police tried to execute an order from authorities to remove cattle and
shelters built illegally, the interior ministry said.
Anger has been simmering in the east with tribes complaining their region is
underdeveloped despite its importance to the economy. The east is home to
the country's only port and oil export terminal and elements of the gold
Dissatisfaction in border regions is linked to development being
concentrated on the capital, which has undergone a building boom in recent
years. (Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by)
Sudan says seizes strategic city in Blue Nile, rebels deny
Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:35pm GMT
CAIRO, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Sudan government forces have seized control of a
strategic city in Blue Nile state after fighting with rebels allied with
South Sudan, a military spokesman said on Wednesday.
A rebel spokesman denied the report and said the Dindiro area was still
under the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) control.
Sudanese army spokesman Colonel Al-Sawarmi Khalid said government forces
"liberated" the city of Dindidiro, located some 100 km (65 miles) south of
the state capital al-Damazin.
"The army, a short while ago and after a fierce battle, managed to seize
control of the city of Dindiro and liberate it from the SPLM forces in the
Blue Nile state," Khalid saideuters.
Analysts say the fighting with the rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan
states fighting risks drawing the newly independent South Sudan into a proxy
The Sudanese government has accused the south's dominant Sudan People's
Liberation Movement (SPLM) of being behind the violence. The SPLM-North, the
movement's branch in Sudan, has blamed Khartoum.
Sudan and South Sudan signed a border security agreement on Sunday, making a
step towards improving ties after tensions over border violence and sharing
Khalid said the Sudanese army has seized five tanks and five other military
vehicles in the battle. But an SPLM spokesman said the fighting has been
taking place in a mountain region some 20 kms (12 miles) away from Dindiro.
Dindiro, a rugged mountainous area, controls access to the al-Kurmuk,
traditional stronghold for the SPLM and its military wing, the Sudan
People's Liberation Army.
(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz in Khartoum; Writing by Sami Aboudi)
C Thomson Reuters 2011 All rights reserved
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Received on Thu Sep 22 2011 - 17:03:47 EDT