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Sudan disarms South Sudanese rebels near border

IANS  |  Khartoum 

Sudanese authorities have disarmed a fleeing battalion of South Sudanese rebels after they entered Sudanese territory, Ahmed Khamis, the governor of Sudan's Kordofan state, said.

"The Sudanese army and concerned authorities have disarmed a battalion... of South Sudanese rebels led by sacked former vice-president Riek Machar in Al-Kharasan area near the border between the two countries," Xinhua quoted Khamis as saying over radio Saturday.

"The battalion surrendered itself with all weaponry and military equipment to the Sudanese authorities," he added, noting that the Sudanese authorities for the time being are treating them as Nuer tribesmen seeking protection as ordered by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

He said that among the fleeing rebels were the commissioner of Mayoum district in South Sudan's Unity state, some 90 oil technicians, 14 injured people and 30 civilians.

Khamis said the state was monitoring the inflow of South Sudanese people, pointing out that those who have crossed the border have not shown any hostile acts towards the armed forces.

During the past few weeks, South Sudan has witnessed clashes between two military factions, one descending from the Dinka tribe, to which South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit belongs, and the other descending from the Nuer tribe, to which Machar belongs.

The clashes have left more than 1,000 people dead and over 121,600 civilians displaced. About 63,000 have taken refuge at various UN compounds across the country, according to UN reports.

First Published: Sat, January 11 2014. 15:22 IST