The three main rebel groups of Sudan’s border states have signed an alliance to overthrow the government of President Omar al-Bashir.
The alliance, ratified over the weekend, is called the Sudanese Revolutionary Front, Radio France Internationale reported.
It unites rebel groups operating right across Sudan's southern border, from Blue Nile in the east, to Darfur in the west.
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Alliance members include Darfur's main rebel groups – the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) – along with the SPLM-N, a group fighting the Sudanese army in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The Sudanese Revolutionary Front says it will coordinate joint military action against the Sudanese government, and use all means to topple Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party and install a democratic government, Al Jazeera reported.
SLA spokesman Ibrahim el-Hilu described the joint venture as a “military and political alliance”.
The establishment of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front comes nearly a week after Bashir visited Kurmuk, in Blue Nile, after northern troops seized the town from a branch of the SPLA-N.
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Khartoum has held several rounds of talks with Darfur rebels to try to resolve a conflict that began in 2003, Al Jazeera reported.
The UN maintains a peacekeeping mission in Darfur, where there has been no serious fighting. But in June, fighting broke out between northern troops and SPLA-N rebels in South Kordofan, before it spread to Blue Nile state in September.
Sudan has accused the new nation of South Sudan of supplying fighters in the border states with arms – a charge it has denied.