Sudan

34 civilians still missing after JEM rebels attack in North Kordofan

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January 6, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese authorities said today that 34 people are still missing since attacks on some localities by a Darfur rebel group in North Kordofan state last month.

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) attacked last December attacked several localities in North Kordofan, which neighbours North Darfur state, announcing that its fighters were advancing towards the capital Khartoum.

The Sudan Armed Forces killed the leader of the rebel group, Khalil Ibrahim during these attacks resulting in praise from political leaders of Sudan’s ruling National Congress party.

On Friday, the mayor of Wad Banda, one of the affected localities, Ahmed Hagar said a report about casualties and financial losses caused by the rebel attack on his town was sent to the state’s governor.

In statements to the official SUNA, Hagar said 34 people are still missing and 10 wounded are still under treatment in different hospitals. He also said that 112 people returned recently to the area after being abducted by the rebels.

He also said four people were killed during the attack on Wad Banda where the army says that Ibrahim was killed.

The Sudanese government, after the attacks, accused the rebel groups of kidnapping villagers. Khartoum said the rebel group had no fighters and seeks to recruit them forcibly.

JEM officials denied the accusations of forcible recruitment.

Hagar said that the attacked had caused financial losses of over two million Sudanese pound (around USD$500,000).

The mayor accused the rebels of looting shops medical dispensaries in the state.

But JEM official, Gibreel Adam Bilal, at the time denied such practices saying their combatants are committed to a political cause and are well disciplined, adding that they never attack civilians and their belongings.

(ST)