Darfur rebels attacked a Sudanese army supply convoy in the insurgents’ mountainous Jabel Marra stronghold, leaving at least 17 people dead, the military said.
No one was immediately available for comment from the rebels group named by the military — a faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) loyal to Abdel Wahed al-Nur which walked out of peace talks in 2006 and has refused to return.
Fighting has rumbled on for eight years in the remote western territory in the face of a string of failed ceasefires, international pressure and campaigns from celebrity activists, Reuters reports.
“The Sudanese army was attacked by a force of Abdel Wahed in Rokoro on Tuesday. The army forced them to withdraw. About 15 of them were killed and two from the Sudanese army,” said military spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khaled.
Khaled said the army had been taking military equipment to its base in Rokoro in Jabel Marra, a territory in the centre of Darfur that is one of the main remaining strongholds of the SLA.
The mostly non-Arab rebel group launched the Darfur revolt alongside the insurgent Justice and Equality Movement in 2003, accusing Sudan’s government of starving the region of resources.
Sudan’s government mobilised troops and mostly Arab militias to crush the uprising.
The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Sudan’s president Omar Hassan al-Bashir, on charges of masterminding genocide and war crimes during the counter-insurgency campaign.