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10 Musa Hilal cadres detained in Sudan

November 14 - 2018 OMDURMAN
Musa Hilal, leader of the Revolutionary Awakening Council on arrival in Khartoum following his arrest in 2017
Musa Hilal, leader of the Revolutionary Awakening Council on arrival in Khartoum following his arrest in 2017

On Monday evening, the Sudan National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) raided the Omdurman house of Ismail El Aghbash, a member of the leadership of the Revolutionary Awakening Council led by janjaweed commander Musa Hilal, and arrested 10 members of the Council.

The list of detainees included El Aghbash, one of the most prominent figures in the Awakening Revolutionary Council, Abdelhafiz Mohamed, director of the Peace Department, Osman Abubaker, director of El Masar Organisation for the Development of Nomads, Yagoub, Prince of the Mahameed tribe in Khartoum, Prince Abdallah Zurga, Chairman of the Mahameed Shura council in West Darfur, Mohamed Hamdan, Mohamed Nafi, Omar Jamaa and university student Mohamed Harin.

Notorious janjaweed leader Musa Hilal and chairman of the Revolutionary Awakening Council (RAC) was arrested in a raid on his stronghold in Misteriya, North Darfur, in November last year. His sons, brothers, and entourage were detained as well, in addition to some 2,000 members of his clan.

Hilal, has refused to operate with the government’s disarmament campaign, was transferred to Khartoum. His trial secretly began on April 30.

In August, several ‘associates of Hilal’ were arrested from a house at Gurrat El Zawiya area in North Darfur.

In July, the NISS arrested Hilal’s hearing-impaired son, Ahmed Musa.


Hilal is held responsible for the atrocities committed in Darfur against civilians after the conflict erupted in 2003. In that year, he was released from prison by the Sudanese government with the purpose to mobilise Darfuri Arab herders to fight the insurgency in the region.

With full government backing, Hilal's militiamen (janjaweed) targeted villages of African Darfuris. They rarely came near forces of the armed rebel movements.

In 2008, Hilal was appointed as Presidential Assistant for Federal Affairs. In January 2014, he announced his defection from the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), and established the RAC.

The Council consists of Hilal’s militiamen and a number of North Darfur native administration leaders. RAC commanders took control of the Jebel Amer gold mining area in El Sareif Beni Hussein locality in July 2015. According to a UN Security Council report in April 2016, Hilal and his entourage were profiting from vast gold sales in Darfur.

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