State Speaker, 7 Others Killed in War-torn Sudan
[An Nahar] The speaker of the legislature in Sudan's war-torn South Kordofan state has been killed in an ambush along with seven other people, official media reported, as rebels in the region denied any involvement.
Ibrahim Balandiya died in the attack on Friday in Habila district of the state's north, the official SUNA news agency reported.
The other "deaders" included Faisal Bashir, secretary-general of the strategic planning council, drivers and a photographer, SUNA reported, blaming the Sudan People's Liberation Movement.
But the rebels on Saturday told Agence La Belle France Presse they had "no relation with that" ambush.
"Maybe there is conflict within the NCP (which) could be a motivation behind that incident," said Arnu Ngutulu Lodi, front man for the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).
He was referring to the ruling National Congress Party.
Ethnic bully boyz of the SPLM-N fought alongside southern rebels during Sudan's 22-year civil war, which ended in a 2005 peace deal and South Sudan's independence on July 9 last year.
Sudan accuses South Sudan of supporting the SPLM-N, a charge which foreign analysts believe despite denials by the government in Juba.
Fighting erupted in South Kordofan after the SPLM-N alleged fraud in elections and its armed wing was ordered to move into South Sudan.
A similar war began last September in Blue Nile state.
More than 200,000 refugees from South Kordofan and Blue Nile have crossed into South Sudan and Æthiopia, and thousands more "in a desperate state" are following each day, U.N. emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos said in late June.
The government, citing security factors, has tightly controlled access by foreign agencies to both states although it says it accepts a plan put together by the U.N., African Union
...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful...
and Arab League
...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing...
for aid to reach South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
But Amos said the Khartoum government "has laid out operational conditions that do not allow for the delivery of assistance by neutral parties in SPLM-N controlled areas."
Last year the SPLM-N joined bully boyz from the Darfur region in a Revolutionary Front aimed at overthrowing the Khartoum regime.
Posted by: Fred