London, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Sudanese government claimed on Tuesday that two people were killed and five were injured when Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebels fired Katyusha rockets at the city of Kadogly in the province of South Kordofan.
The SRF, however, said it fired at military bases in the city and did not target civilians. They called on the civilians to move away from army bases and warned the army not to use the civilians as “human shields.”
The governor of South Kordofan, Adam Al-Fakki, said in a statement that rebels from the Sudan Popular Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), one of the groups in the SRF coalition, attacked the city of Kadogly from the east with Katyusha rockets, and that one of the rockets hit a school and another two hit residential homes. He said: “The attack targeted civilians aiming to terrify them, and did not target any Sudanese army military bases.”
Fakki accused the SPLM of killing civilians and targeting schools, adding that the rocket attack was a signal that the rebels had rejected government calls for peace negotiations.
An SPLM official, Jibril Adam Bilal, told Asharq Al-Awsat that SPLM forces fired rockets at Sudanese army military bases and at what he described as “foreign mercenaries” in Kadogly. He said: “We do not target civilians at all, we protect them. Those who target civilians are [from] the genocidal regime.”
He added that the “attack targets bases of security, intelligence and foreign mercenary militias, as well as Popular Defense Forces,” and accused government forces of firing from inside the city at SPLM bases, causing civilian casualties.
Bilal said: “The regime’s militias must leave cities and confront SPLM forces, and they must not use civilians as human shields.” He added that “the regime deliberately draws the SPLM into battles inside cities to cause civilians casualties and, therefore, we call on our people to stay away from the bases of the regime’s militias for fear of being targeted by these criminal militias.”
Meanwhile, an SPLM delegation arrived on Tuesday at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where they will attend a session of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on human rights in Sudan. The delegation will then go to Brussels to hold meetings with officials of the European Union and the Belgian foreign ministry.
The official spokesman for the delegation, SPLM foreign affairs official Yasir Arman, said in a statement to the media that the SPLM leadership was satisfied with the welcome they received in Europe. He said the delegation focused on humanitarian and human rights issues in Sudan, at the forefront of which were “genocide” and the killing of protesters.
Arman added that the issues raised by the delegation also included prisoners, humanitarian aid and the bombardment of civilians from air and land.