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‘Armed, masked foreign Islamists’ arrive in North Darfur

March 25 - 2016 KUTUM
One of the lorries allegedly used to transport 'foreign settlers' to resettle parts of Darfur (Radio Dabanga correspondent)
One of the lorries allegedly used to transport 'foreign settlers' to resettle parts of Darfur (Radio Dabanga correspondent)

A number of witnesses from North Darfur have confirmed the arrival of ‘armed foreign Islamist groups’, in Kutum locality.

“A group of more than 430 person including children arrived in the area on Saturday… they are now stationed west and south of Damrat El Ghureir and Disa military garrison.”

One of the witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the new-arrivals came masked and carrying weapons.

The witnesses said that they spent the night at Kutum mosque. “They told local residents that they came from Saudi Arabia to establish an Islamic city in the region. The said that their leader met with the Second Vice-President Hassabo Abdelrahman in Khartoum.

As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, callers said that the group came to Kutum under guard from members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia.

Listeners told this station that some residents demanded the military commander of Disa to move them away from the region, but he pointed out that the issue is related to higher authorities in the state.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga this week, the head of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM), Minni Arko Minawi, described the group as “terrorists who were transported yesterday over from Damrat El Ghireir on their way to El Fasher and then Nyala”.

Minawi asserted that “the group consists of 400 terrorists being brought to Darfur by the government, including groups from Daesh coming from Libya, Boko Haram from Nigeria, and terrorists from Mali, Niger, and Central Africa.”

However, in an interview with the Turkish Andol, Assistant to the President, Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, denied that elements of the Islamic State (IS) have been transported to Darfur, branding it “a lie propagated by some opposition forces in an attempt to internationalise the issue of Sudan by giving a pretext for foreign intervention”.

On Sunday, the North Darfur Government also denied that extremist groups have entered the region, claiming that “the state is free of any presence of terrorist organisations”.

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