(AFP) Rebels in Sudan’s Blue Nile state on Wednesday said they seized an airstrip outside a key town near the Ethiopian border in some of the heaviest fighting in months. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) said they were just a few kilometres (miles) from El Kurmuk, the major town in southeastern Blue Nile state. “It’s very close and we are controlling the Kurmuk airstrip,” which is west of the town, rebel spokesman Arnu Ngutulu Lodi told AFP. The army denied there was fighting on the outskirts of Kurmuk but said its forces had withdrawn from an area southwest of the town which, two days earlier, it announced it had “liberated.” Concern has been rising over tensions between Khartoum and Juba after they failed to implement agreements which they hailed in September as ending conflict.
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Sudan rebels launch attack to retake border town
(Reuters) Rebels in a Sudanese border state say they have occupied an airport and are fighting with government troops to retake a town that became a flashpoint during the civil war, but the army denied it had lost any territory. The SPLM-North, rebels from the south who were left in Sudan after South Sudan seceded, said their fighters had reached Kurmuk, which they lost to the Sudanese army in late 2011. The clashes undermine African Union efforts secure a border still disputed nearly two years after South Sudan became independent, set up a military-free buffer zone and restart oil production, which the countries’ economies desperately need. “Now we are fighting inside Kurmuk now and we occupy the Kurmuk airport,” Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North) leader Yasir Arman told Reuters by phone on Wednesday.
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Sudan, Ethiopia Higher Committee Meetings in March
(Sudan Vision) The Higher Committee between Sudan and Ethiopia is to meet in March. The economic committee tasked to prepare a special file on the implementation of the joint agreements embarked on structuring a comprehensive report containing visions of all economic ministries and relevant units prior to its submission to the Ministerial Joint Commission. The committee which comprises the economic sector ministries and the central bank of Sudan will submit its final report to the ministerial joint commission before the start of the meetings to be held soon in Khartoum.
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