11 May 2008 06:55 Africa/Lagos
Embassy of Sudan Responds to Attack on City of Omdurman
WASHINGTON, May 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --
Heavy gunfire and artillery rang through Omdurman as an anticipated attack by a rebel group came to pass on Saturday. The Chadian JEM who've long been under the surveillance of the Armed forces managed to reach the outskirts of the capital where they were engaged in a decisive battle by the security forces who maintained full control of the city. A nationwide alert, warning of the group's intention to carry out a massive assault on the capital was issued, and the necessary security measures were immediately taken once this threat was confirmed. The chief of the operation and his deputy were among those the forces killed.
From their point of departure in Apache, Chad, mounted in heavily armed vehicles, the rebels and the mercenaries approached Khartoum through the desert going northward where they encountered the national air force that left them scattered after sustaining an intense aerial assault. This occurred where no civilians were in sight, yet again the rebels were quick to resort to their usual cry, claiming that innocent people have been targeted by the government when in fact they were the ones who made the declaration that all the cities were, in the words of their spokesmen, "legitimate targets", a clear signal that there would be little regard for innocent civilians. In a strategy reminiscent of the usual recourse in their terror campaigns in Darfur, the group targeted humanitarian convoys as well as public facilities in an attempt to leave a lasting impact.
It should be made clear that this act of aggression had the full support of Chad's President who also happens to be tribally related to the leader of the group, Khalil Ibrahim. The mercenaries were trained and prepared by the Chadian Government; and this is an operation which Sudan holds that Government fully responsible for. Effective immediately, Sudan has decided to sever all diplomatic relations with the regime that has constantly supported the campaign of terror against the innocent civilians. This is also the same group that was implicated in the attack of the AU peacekeeping base in Haskanita that killed seven Nigerian soldiers serving in the African Mission in Darfur, an incident that barely gained international attention as tradition has allowed the rebels to act with impunity.
This incident comes at the heels of the Oslo talks where the Government of Sudan met with several donor countries that pledged their full support to a peace building process in the country including the swift resolution of the conflict in Darfur. And its timing cannot be seen as anything else but the blatant attempt to undermine the resolutions made at the consortium. Sudan welcomes the U.S. and UN's condemnation and further calls on the international community to hold Chad and the rebels accountable for this reprehensible incident.
Embassy of Sudan in Washington D.C.
Source: Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan
CONTACT: Embassy of Sudan in Washington D.C. Information Office,
+1-202-338-8565 or Fax: +1-202-667-2406