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Sudan Denies Forces Demoralized in Darfur


The Sudanese army has denied that its forces are badly demoralized after losing two key battles against rebels in Darfur.

The army statement followed comments by a top United Nations envoy in Sudan. United Nations Special Representative to the Secretary General, Jan Pronk, wrote on his weblog last week that the Sudanese Army is in a state of disarray in Darfur.

Pronk charged that some Sudanese troops are refusing to fight and he said some generals have been fired.

A Sudanese Armed Forces Spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sawarmy Khalid, denied Pronk's report that the army has suffered defeat in Darfur.

Saad told VOA that the Armed Forces want Pronk to leave Sudan. "Jan Pronk had interfered in the affairs of the Sudanese Army, saying that it had dismissed many leaders. That is wrong. We have not dismissed any leaders. He said there are Chadian rebels fighting with the Sudanese army. That is also wrong. The Sudanese Army is fighting alone. The Sudanese Army [sees] in him a great danger. If he does not leave the Sudan, the war will not finish," he said.

The spokesman also charged that Chad continues to support rebels in Darfur.

Sudan in August began a military offensive against rebels in the region who have refused to sign on to a peace agreement with the Sudanese Government.

Only one faction of the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement signed on to the deal.

Others refused, complaining that the peace agreement did not meet their basic demands of power-sharing and compensation for some three million victims of the conflict.

In recent weeks, Sudan Armed Forces have fought rebels in northern Darfur, displacing thousands of civilians.

Last week Darfuri rebels and Sudanese troops clashed along Sudan's porous border with Chad, sending hundreds of injured rebels and soldiers streaming into the Chadian town of Bahai.

Darfuri rebels say they captured hundreds of Sudanese troops during the fighting. Sudan's army has denied the rebel claim.

The three-year Darfur conflict began when rebels attacked government positions in Darfur, complaining that the remote region remained undeveloped due to neglect by the central government.

Sudan is charged with arming militias to crush the rebellion.

Tens of thousands of people have died and more than two million have been displaced by the fighting.

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