Insurgents fighting Sudanese government forces in the border state of South Kordofan on Thursday attacked and seized control of two villages in the vicinity of the strategic town of Talodi, rebel and official sources have confirmed.
A well-placed security source told reporters that the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) launched two attacks at 7 am local time on Mafloa and Um Dual villages in an attempt to tighten their long-running siege of Talodi, the site of a main army garrison.
The two villages, according to the source, were completely devoid of government forces, the source further admitted that the rebels had managed to seize the two villages and were now closing in on Talodi from three fronts, suggesting that the town could come under attack within the next few hours.
Meanwhile, the SPLM-N’s official spokesman, Arnu Loddi, said in an emailed statement that their forces have attacked and “destroyed government garrisons” in the two villages.
According to Loddi, the SPLM-N’s first attack targeted Mafloa village, 7 kilometers north of Talodi, whereas the second targeted Um Dual village to the east of Talodi.
Loddi claimed that their forces had killed a total of 21 SAF soldiers in the two attacks and seized a great cache of equipments.
He went on to say that Talodi was now completely under siege and warned government forces stationed in the town to leave or face their fate.
SPLM-N made a number of attempts to capture Talodi since the conflict in South Kordofan broke out in June last year. Several villages around Talodi were attacked by the rebels but the town remained still under control of government forces.
“The SPLA-N will continue its siege of Talodi until it is liberated,” the rebels’ spokesman said.
In Khartoum, the pro-government website Sudanese Media Center (SMC) confirmed that the rebels had attacked and entered the two villages, citing the mayor of Talodi.
However, the local official, however, said that government forces had eventually repelled the attack. He charged that the attack was fully supported by neighboring South Sudan as evidenced, he said, by the types of arms used by the insurgents.
Sudan routinely accuses South Sudan of supporting the SPLM-N rebels who fought as part of its army before the country seceded from Sudan in July last year.
This week serious clashes erupted in Sudan’s border town of Heglig between SAF and South Sudan’s army known as SPLA. Khartoum accused Darfur rebel group the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) of participating in the clashes.
SPLM-N and JEM plus two other rebel factions are the members of the Sudanese Revolutionary Forces (SRF), a coalition of groups seeking to overthrow the Sudanese Arab-minority government.