Iran’s Revolutionary Guards arrived to fight alongside Sudan army in border state, SPLM says
|July 28, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – Members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRG) and Somali militants have arrived in eastern Sudan in order to participate besides the government’s army in the ongoing armed conflict in South Kordofan State, as alleged by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).
The SPLM in South Kordofan, which has been fighting the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in the oil-producing state since 5 June, said in a press release on Wednesday that its sources had observed the arrival of 200 IRG members accompanied by 10 advanced tanks at Kassala airport in eastern Sudan.
|Members of Iran’s Basij militia and Revolutionary Guard perform in a play "The memory of friends" to mark the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (REUTERS PICTURES)
At the same airport, the SPLM further alleged, some Somali Islamist militants arrived two weeks ago and were later spotted heading to South Kordofan.
Sudan and Iran have close military cooperation agreements in different fields. Iranian experts also, participated in the training of the army members in the past during the war against the SPLA in South Sudan.
However independent sources contacted by Sudan Tribune failed to confirm the SPLM’s allegations on the participation of Iranian troops in the armed conflict in South Kordofan.
The SPLM, which claimed its forces had inflicted great losses on SAF and that some of army members had defected to its forces, accused the government of the ruling National Congress Party of using these militias in its “ethnic cleansing” in South Kordofan. The SPLM further echoed calls on the UN Security Council to establish a committee to investigate reports of atrocities allegedly committed by SAF and its allied militias.
SAF, which is encountering difficulties in quelling what Khartoum terms as “an all-out rebellion” in South Kordofan, has recently come under attack and allegations of committing wide-ranging abuses during the conflict.
A report prepared by the UN Mission in Sudan on the situation in South Kordofan charged SAF with committing “especially egregious” acts that may amount to “war crimes and crimes against humanity.”