May 11, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The High Committee for Mobilization and Alert at Khartoum’s locality headed by mayor Omar Nimir announced the inauguration of Popular Defense Forces (PDF) military training camps and the formation of a “strategic battalion” comprised of government officials to secure the locality.
According to the government-sponsored Sudanese Media Center (SMC), a meeting of the committee chaired by Nimir has agreed to establish two training camps on May 17 and a “closed” one for the officials who will participate in the training. The latter will accommodate 400 conscripts from the Sudan’s Islamic Movement (IM), ruling National Congress Party (NCP), youths, students, women, PDF, national service and ordinary citizens.
The mayor said that the decision to open the camps came against the backdrop of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) recent offensive in South and North Kordofan states adding that they are also collecting relief for the civilian population affected by the recent attacks.
The Sudanese government has stepped up its mobilization campaign in wake of the surprise attack by SRF on areas that in the past were believed to be beyond the rebels’ reach. In the past, fighting between the rebels and Khartoum has largely been limited to Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states bordering South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in 2011.
This week the High Committee for Mobilization and Alert held a meeting with mosques’ imams to discuss the implications of the rebels’ offensive and to call for jihad (holy war).
Also on Wednesday Sudan’s national assembly decided to suspend its sessions for a week in order to enable MPs to travel to their constituencies and lead a mobilization campaign in support of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF).
Late last month, SRF rebels swept through the city of Um Rawaba in North Kordofan, before withdrawing later on the same day.
North Kordofan, which includes Um Rawaba and forms part of Sudan’s commercial heartland, is a hub for the country’s agriculture, livestock and gum Arabic industries.
SAF now has it eyes on reclaiming Abu-Kershola district in South Kordofan which was overrun by rebels during last month’s assault.
Officials in Khartoum say that they have completely surrounded the area and pledged not to stop until they recapture Kauda which is the stronghold of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan.