Darfur rebels wounded in the latest fighting with Sudanese troops have gone to South Sudan for treatment, the army said on Tuesday, as Khartoum pushes Juba to end alleged backing for rebels.
The army and insurgents gave conflicting accounts of Monday’s fighting, which came while Sudanese negotiators at fragile peace talks in Addis Ababa turned down South Sudan‘s proposal for settling oil fees and other critical issues by a United Nations-imposed deadline of August 2.
Khartoum said security is a key priority and issues such as South Sudan‘s “support” for rebels need to be settled.
In a statement carried by the official SUNA news agency, Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad said the government killed more than 50 fighters of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and wounded a large number of others.
The fighting erupted just inside South Kordofan state near southeastern Darfur.
Saad said a “big number of vehicles were seen carrying the injured elements of the rebels for treatment in South Sudan.”
Casualty claims are difficult to verify in the region, where access is restricted.
JEM on Tuesday denied that any of its fighters had been killed in the battles or that wounded had been moved across the undemarcated border.
Rebel spokesman Gibril Adam Bilal