A Second Helicopter Gunship Is Shot Down As Fighting Escalates

The Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLA) forces of the 2nd Front in Eastern Equatoria have shot down another helicopter gunship at 1:30pm between Khor Delaib and Khor Inglizi today, Friday September 27th 2002, 26 miles on the Torit-Juba road. This is the second helicopter gunship brought down by the gallant SPLA forces of liberation in three days of heavy fighting. It will be recalled that the first helicopter gunship was shot down in the area on Tuesday September 24. Reports indicate that five (5) people were killed including a re-knowned Sharia Judge Mullah Ahmed Hajj Nur. Hajj Nur was not only a notorious Mujahid in Southern Sudan, but was an Islamic fundamentalist who with former President Nimeiri introduced the September Sharia Laws.

The SPLA has learnt that troops of the racist regime in Khartoum have been attempting to breakthrough SPLA defenses in a vain and futile campaign to re-capture Torit before the rogue regime could speculate on whether to resume the peace talks in Machakos - Kenya. But the gallant forces of liberation motivated by their earnest search for freedom and justice are mounting a spirited resistance against the hordes of Mujahidiin.

As reported in our press release dated September 26, 2002, the racist regime has launched all over the New Sudan a massive military offensive. The regime's airforce is bombarding civil and civilian infrastructure on a daily basis. It has also been conducting actions which amount to crimes against humanity. On September 20th 2002, the Government of Sudan (GOS) army massacred over 200 civilians inside Abyei town in cold blood. Among those killed are intellectuals and government officials including Makwac Abiem, Majak Matet, Bol Kiir and businessman called Deng Anai.

The paramount chief of Abyei, Amir Kuol Deng, was arrested and is feared dead. These were helpless citizens supposedly expected to be under the protection of a government which claims sovereignty over the whole country. Also in the same week, the regime's latest MIG-29 bomber, purchased from Russia with proceeds from the oil of Southern Sudan, dropped several bombs on an Internally Displaced Peoples' (IDPs) camp in Amadi area in Mundri county killing seventeen (17) people of two families.

Finally, the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement and the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLM/SPLA) takes this opportunity to congratulate the SPLA gallant forces for shooting down enemy gunships and for repulsing the unprovoked general military offensive. The GOS is hereby warned to abandon its futile war-like attitude and return to the negotiating table. Escalating the fighting and massacring of civilians cannot be used to extract concessions and ceasefire from SPLM/SPLA rather these actions will aggravate the suffering of the Sudanese nation.
Dr. Samson L. Kwaje
Commissioner for Information and
Official Spokesman SPLM/SPLA
27th September, 2002 - Nairobi


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