Accessibility links

Sudan Rebels Expand Offensive

  • VOA News

Rebels from Sudan's war-torn Darfur region attacked a city in the neighboring state of North Kordofan Saturday, bringing their fight closer to the capital.

A spokesman for the Justice and Equality Movement, or JEM, said the attack on Um Rawaba is part of the group's plan to overthrow the Sudanese government.

Um Rawaba is North Kordofan's second-largest city. The state has largely been free from the rebel activity taking place in Darfur to its west and South Kordofan to the south.

But residents of Um Rawaba said armed rebels looted a market Saturday after moving into the city in at least 20 vehicles. Sudan's army also accused the insurgents of destroying a communications tower, a power plant and at least one fuel station.

JEM is part of an alliance with rebels from the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states bordering South Sudan. It was one of two main rebel groups that launched an uprising against the government of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2003. The uprising prompted a government response that the United States, the ICC and activists have labeled genocide.

The United Nations says an estimated 300,000 people have been killed in 10 years of violence in Darfur.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.