Army On Maximum Alert In Southern And Western Sudan
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Government troops fighting rebels in southern and western Sudan were put on maximum alert, and the defense minister called for a meeting to discuss new rebel fortifications, the Middle East News Agency said Thursday.
In a dispatch monitored here, the news agency reported from Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, that the maximum alert was announced after ″the security situation in southern Sudan and in Kordofan and Darfur regions in western Sudan had become tense.″
Army troops in the Upper Nile region of Malakal were reported on maximum alert last week.
In it’s unattributed report, the news agency also said Maj. Gen. Osman Abdullah Mohamed, the defense minister, had called for an emergency meeting Monday to be attended by representatives of political parties.
New rebel fortifications in the south will be discussed at the meeting, the news agency said.
The Egyptian news agency gave no further details about the reason for the maximum alert or Monday’s meeting.
Anti-government rebels are fighting mainly under the leadership of Col. John Garang’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army. They have refused to enter any negotiations with the military government, which overthrew President Gaafar Nimeiri April 6, until it hands over power to civilians.
The military has promised parliamentary elections next April.
There had been recent reports of an acceleration of fighting in the south after Garang refused to receive any of the new regime’s envoys.