Last weekend the leading rebel group in Sudan, Justice and Equality Movement or JEM launched a surprise attack on the Sudanese cities of Omdurman and Khartoum. The government was able to repel the attack. The head of strategic planning for JEM said the attack was successful. Peter Eichstaedt is Africa editor for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.  VOA?s Akwei Thompson reached him by phone at his base in The Hague for an analysis of the attack.

Eichstaedt said the most dramatic part of the story is not who won the battle, but rather the fact that the ?rebels were able to conduct a surprise strike? at the capital Sudan. ?This has literally burst the bubble, the security bubble of the Sudan government?, he added.

Eichstaedt said both the UN and the Sudan government should be very concerned about what happened last week.