Sudan Rebels Report Fighting at Oil-Producing State Capital

Sudanese rebels shelled government positions in Kadugli, capital of oil-rich Southern Kordofan state, in response to army attacks against them and civilians, a spokesman for the insurgents said.

The rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North attacked Kadugli today after the Sudanese army shelled civilian areas in the state from Oct. 18 to Oct. 21 and rebel positions outside the city, spokesman Arnu Lodi said by phone from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. A United Nations spokesman confirmed reports of fighting around Kadugli.

“They are responding to the shelling from SAF and the aerial bombardment,” Lodi said.

Clashes started more than a year ago in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states between President Umar al-Bashir’s government and rebels who fought during a two-decade civil war alongside the forces of South Sudan, which gained independence in July last year. More than 175,000 people have fled the violence into South Sudan, according to the UN.

The rebel shelling killed two children and injured eight other civilians, Sudan’s army spokesman, al-Sawarami Khaled, said in a phone interview from Khartoum, the capital.

“We had reports that there was arial bombardment outside Kadugli this morning,” Damian Rance, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said by phone from Khartoum. “Later in the morning we had reports of mortar fire on Kadugli.”