Khartoum: no truce in eastern area; battle with Eritrea not the rebels
Sudan-Eritrea, Politics, 10/19/2002
Khartoum on Friday talked about clashes with the Eritrean forces, while the advisor of the Sudanese presidency for political affairs Qurbi Mahdi announced that the truce with the rebels of John Garang which has been in effect since two days is limited to the south and does not include the eastern front of fighting, near Eritrea's borders.
Qutbi Mahdi said that the truce agreement does not include east Sudan because the battle of the government of Khartoum in that area is with Eritrea.
The Sudanese daily al-Hurrieyah ( freedom) quoted Mahdi as saying that the government is determined in its position to rule out the east from the truce. He added that the battle of the government in the east is with the Eritrean regime, unless the rebels want to say they are in an alliance with the Eritrean regime. The rebels spoke of violations for the truce by the government forces just 10 minutes after its reinforcement on Thursday. The rebels considered the truce as covering all sides, but the Sudanese government's position makes a distinction between the fronts of the south and that of the east where the rebels controlled the city of Hamshkorb before signing the truce agreement.
The Sudanese Akhbar al-Youm ( news of today) quoted a source at the Sudanese security saying that the government army is fighting in the east the Eritrean forces and not the southern rebels.
The source said that the governmental forces are proceeding eastward to "deter an Eritrean attack and it is clear that the rebel movement took part with the Eritrean forces in provoking our force."
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