There Is No Fighting In Torit
The Government of Sudan (GOS) has been of late issuing false statements to the effect that their forces are fighting in Torit. They also claim that they have destroyed Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLA) military equipment including tanks. This is of course not true. The town of Torit is under the firm control of the SPLA and the situation on the ground is calm. The only activity around Torit is the daily indiscriminate aerial bombardment that mainly targets civilian infrastructure particularly buildings and residential areas. This indiscriminate bombing should be strongly condemned as it inflicts grave and unjustable damage to the civil population. These bombings are also meant to prevent the supply of humanitarian assistance and relief distribution to the civil population.
It is worth mentioning that before the enemy evacuated Torit town the civil population was less than three thousand. Since then, there has been an influx of people into Torit town. Reports indicate that as of Yesterday Sunday 15th September 2002, the population of the town was 72,000. This big population needs safety, shelter and relief. The racist government in Khartoum is obstructing the badly needed humanitarian services by continous massive aerial bombardment.
The alleged ground fighting in Torit is therefore nothing but a cover up of Khartoum's policy of targeting non-military objectives from the air. The actual front line at present is 40miles North -West on the Torit - Juba road.
The Sudan People's Liberation Movement and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLM/SPLA) also takes this opportunity to deny reports coming from Khartoum Government and widely reported by Middle Eastern Media that the SPLM/SPLA is receiving military assistance from Israel. The Movement is not getting any support from Israel. These allegations are lies and are fabricated to drum up support for the regime from the Arab and Islamic World. The regime is currently frantically appealing to the Arab League and individual Arab countries for military and financial resources in its Jihad against the people of Southern Sudan and other marginalized areas. This propaganda is also meant to divert international opinion from Khartoum's renewed links with Al-Qaeda of Osama bin Laden. Of late, the Khartoum government has resumed its terrorist link with Al-Qaeda through economic cooperation where tons of Al-Qaeda wealth in form of Gold have been shipped to Sudan. These lies are also part of Khartoum's propaganda machine when the government lose towns or garrisons to the SPLA. They often lie to the people that the SPLA cannot defeat the government soldiers without outside support. Hence Torit's loss to the SPLA is now attributed to Israel's support. This is unfortunate and Khartoum should accept defeat with grace.
Finally, the SPLM/SPLA appeals to the international community to put pressure on the rogue regime to allow the flow of humanitarian assistance to Torit town. The regime should stop its aerial bombardment of the town which causes no damage to the SPLA except for interrupting the flow of relief and killing of civilians. We also urge the international community to make the government of Sudan see sense and return to the negotiating table rather than beating the drums of war and jihad.
Dr. Samson L. Kwaje
Commissioner for Information and
Official Spokesman SPLM/SPLA
Nairobi - September 16, 2002
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