A group of 19 rebels of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) arrived in the South Darfur capital of Nyala on Wednesday in preparation for the implementation of security arrangements.
Under the leadership of Mahdi Adam Ismail, known as ‘Mahdi Jebel Moon’, the rebel combatants split from the main JEM. They went to Nyala in four combat vehicles, which they immediately handed to the security organs in the state.
Ismail told reporters in Nyala they have become “fully convinced of the futility of fighting”. He added that dozens of JEM combatants have left the area of Deim Zubeir in South Sudan. “They are now on their way to El Radoom in South Darfur.”
“Joining the Doha peace accord is the best choice for construction, reconstruction, and development,” the rebel commander explained.
He said that the former rebel fighters will join the Sudanese army in accordance with the security arrangements of the 2011 Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.
Major General Adel Hamadelnil, Commander of the 16th Infantry, said that his troops secured the road to the state capital for the JEM group.
JEM spokesman Jibril Adam Bilal told Radio Dabanga that the group secretly left the movement.
“Ismail told us that they intended to meet with a group of young men who wanted to join us, at a place not far from our site. We allowed them to take four Land Cruisers and weapons, which they then gave away to the authorities.”
In August 2014, the first batches of former Darfur rebels started with the Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration (DDR) programme in El Fasher in North Darfur. Since then, thousands of former rebels have been integrated into the Sudan Armed Forces and the paramilitary Popular Defence Forces.
The DDR programme is stipulated in the Security Arrangements protocols of the 2006 Abuja peace accord between Khartoum and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM), and in the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), signed in Qatar in July 2011 by the Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Party (NJM).
Two years later, a JEM faction, led by the late Mohamed Bashar (JEM-Sudan) joined the DDPD. Splinter groups from the JEM and Sudan Liberation Movement factions signed the peace document in the following years.
About 165,000 ex-fighters in total are to be demobilised and re-integrated under the Darfur peace agreements.
Earlier this week, the Sudanese DDR Commissioner and a representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) signed an agreement for the implementation of the reintegration of 13,000 ex-rebels in the West Darfur capital El Geneina.
The costs, amounting to $12 million have been funded by the government of Qatar.
DDR Commissioner Lt. Gen. Salah El Tayeb said on the occasion that although the reintegration programme was launched before the signing of the agreement, “it will contribute to reducing the number of non-integrated combatants in previous periods”.