Khartoum Accuses Rebels of Violating Southern Ceasefire

Published June 17th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Sudan's armed forces accused rebels Saturday of violating a ceasefire in the southern Bahr el-Ghazal region by shelling a town. 

A statement from the armed forces claimed the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) had attacked the town of Gogriel with artillery for 12 hours Thursday before being routed by government troops. 

"The rebels destroyed homes and public utilities before the armed forces counterattacked, causing them to flee after sustaining heavy loss of life and materiel," the statement said. 

The government statement accused the SPLA of violating the temporary ceasefire in Bahr el-Ghazal, which the rebels extended for three months in early May on the request of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. 

In late April, Khartoum also extended its ceasefire in the region until mid-July. 

The SPLA, which has spearheaded a 17-year civil war against Khartoum's forces, claimed to have captured a major government garrison in east Sudan's Blue Nile province and killed around 200 government troops there last week. 

The mainly Christian and animist rebels of southern Sudan have been fighting Khartoum's successive Arab and Islamic governments since 1983 and were joined in 1995 by northern opposition groups - KHARTOUM (AFP) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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