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Fighting flares in Sudan's Blue Nile

28 August 2013, 11:34

Khartoum - Fighting between government and rebel forces has flared in Sudan's Blue Nile state, both sides say.

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), in a statement received late on Tuesday, said its forces had seized two government military camps in Geissan district bordering Ethiopia.

The statement, dated 24 August, said rebels also "destroyed" a government convoy.

Four rebels died in the operations but a larger number of government troops were killed, SPLM-N said.

Sudan's army spokesperson Sawarmi Khaled Saad said the military had "liberated" a village in Geissan, killing a number of rebels.

He was quoted by the official SUNA news agency.

The SPLM-N has been fighting for about two years in Blue Nile and, in a more intensive campaign, in South Kordofan state.

More than one million people have been displaced or severely affected by war in the two states, the United Nations says.

The SPLM-N was allied with the SPLM, the now ruling party of South Sudan, during its 1983-2005 war with Khartoum that culminated in South Sudan's independence in July 2011.

Khartoum accuses the South's government in Juba of continuing to support the rebels.

If those concerns are not addressed by September 6 Sudan has threatened to shut the pipelines carrying landlocked South Sudan's oil for export.

Analysts say both governments have supported insurgents on their neighbour's soil.



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