UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
SUDAN: Rebels, government claim victory in Blue Nile fighting
NAIROBI, 1 April (IRIN) - The rebel Sudan People's Liberation
says it inflicted massive human and material losses on Khartoum forces
during a three-day battle in southern Blue Nile state, a claim rejected by
the Sudanese government.
Intensive fighting was reported between the two sides
from Thursday to
Saturday last week around the town of Ulu.
The SPLA said it killed 123 government soldiers in Ulu
and another 282
when it ambushed a National Islamic Front (NIF) convoy which had been sent
to revamp government forces. It put the number of government wounded at
"This was the biggest battle since the 1997 one
in which the SPLA captured
central Equatoria," SPLA/M spokesman Samson Kwaje told IRIN on Thursday.
"We defeated them and they fled. We are, and will continue, chasing them
wherever they go since we already took the initiative. SPLA will capture
many other areas." The opposition Voice of Sudan radio said the SPLA lost
12 soldiers with "a few" wounded.
For its part, Khartoum said the rebels were "desperate"
to launch attacks
in this area to halt exploration and production operations inside oil
"Heavy casualties were inflicted on the infiltrating
elements who ended
fleeing in disarray," a statement from the Sudanese embassy in Nairobi,
received by IRIN, said on Thursday.
"A small number of the government's forces were
killed," the statement
said. It added that the SPLA infiltrated some areas with the aim of
looting passengers and hijacking trucks on the Khartoum-Port Sudan
highway. "There is a history of such past attempts, staged mainly to give
the impression of instability in the area and consequently affect the flow
of traffic and public opinion," the statement said.
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 16:47:12 +0300 (EAT)
From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: SUDAN: Rebels, government claim victory in Blue Nile fighting 
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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