Sudan: Troops Regain Control of Rebel-Held Darfur Town

Posted May 9th, 2012 at 5:25 pm (UTC-5)
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A Sudanese news agency says government forces have regained control of the rebel-held town of Girayda in the violence-plagued Darfur region of western Sudan.

The semiofficial Sudan Media Center quoted government officials as saying nine soldiers and an unknown number of rebels from the Sudan Liberation Army were killed in the fighting in Girayda, some 100 kilometers south of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur.

The officials said battles were still in progress and the government has sent reinforcements to the area.

The SLA said two rebel factions led by Minni Minnawi and Abdelwahid Nour carried out the attack on Girayda Tuesday.

The rebels denied they were expelled from the area, but the African Union/UN mission in Darfur said peacekeepers patrolling the area observed the aftermath of the fighting. A UNAMID spokesman said the peacekeepers saw a number of dead and that there was considerable damage to the town.

Hostilities in Darfur escalated with the start of a massive rebel insurgency in 2003. The AU/UN mission was authorized in 2008 to help protect civilians in region, where the United Nations says more 300,000 people have died and another 2.7 million have been displaced in the conflict.

Despite repeated attempts at peace negotiations, violence has been ongoing in Darfur as well as in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, where rebels and government forces are also fighting.