Sudan Liberation Army seizes Muhajeriya

The Sudan Liberation Army faction of Minni Minawi (SLA-MM) seized Muhajeriya in East Darfur on Saturday, scattering thousands of civilians toward UN bases in the two towns.

The government lost more than 70 troops in the battle for the area, and two Land Cruisers mounted with Dushkas, according to SLA Secretary for Administration Assadig Sharif Daffallah.

“Muhajeriya area is taken by the Sudan Liberation Army and the Sudan Revolutionary Front,” said Assadig Sharif Daffallah in an interview with Radio Tamazuj.

The rebel official declined to say how many fighters the Minawi faction had lost in the battle. No official confirmation of casualties has come from the government side either.

The UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) confirmed the capture of the two towns, saying they had been assaulted in the early morning on Saturday.  

Airstrikes were later reported at both locations, the Mission said in a press statement Sunday night, adding that “thousands of civilians, many with their livestock, are concentrated around UNAMID team sites in Muhajeria and Labado for protection.”

UN Mission Chief Mohamed Ibn Chambas condemned the attack saying: “These actions only bring further suffering to the civilian population and undermine the peace process.”

Muhajeriya was a stronghold of SLA-MM earlier in the war but was also briefly held by JEM in 2009.

File photo: An aerial view of Muhajeriya town in East Darfur State (sudanforum.net)

See also: Dozens killed in fresh clashes between Sudan army and rebels in South Darfur (Sudan Tribune, 7 April 2013)