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Sudanese army seizes Jebel Moun JEM base
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May 16, 2010 - 8:19:48 AM

May 16, 2010, 06:20

Sudanese army seizes Jebel Moun JEM base

The Sudanese army claims to have seized control (عربي) of a key Justice and Equality Movement base in west Darfur.

Yesterday's raid on the base, in the Jebel Moun region, reportedly killed more than 100 people. A spokesman for the Sudanese army, Khaled al-Sawarmi, says the army also detained 61 JEM rebels and seized nearly two dozen vehicles.

But a spokesman for JEM says the rebel group -- the largest in Darfur -- left the base voluntarily after several days of bombing raids and shelling by the army.

Suleiman Sandal, the head of JEM's intelligence unit, called the move a "redeployment" in an interview with the Sudan Tribune.

"We decided a large-scale redeployment of our troops in the states of Darfur and Kordofan as a result of the breach of ceasefire by the government," Sandal said in an interview with Sudan Tribune from Cairo today.

"We want to brief our supporters about the latest developments in Doha and our conditions to resume the peace process," he added. "However this attack confirms that the government undermined the framework agreement," he stressed.

Peace talks between the two sides are already on ice following a series of alleged army attacks in Darfur. The Sudanese government insists it's still willing to proceed with the next round of the Doha talks; the rebels say they're close to withdrawing from the negotiations, and warn of a "true state of war" in Darfur.

In possibly-related news: Sudanese security forces have detained opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi and shuttered his Rai al-Shaab newspaper. Members of Turabi's Popular Congress Party say they still haven't received an explanation for the arrest.

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