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Darfur’s Border Guards definitely reject disarmament campaign

August 14 - 2017 MISTAREEHA
Members of the Border Guards militia meet in Mistareeha in North Darfur on 12 August 2017 (RAC)
Members of the Border Guards militia meet in Mistareeha in North Darfur on 12 August 2017 (RAC)

On Saturday, members of the Darfuri Border Guards militia agreed to oppose the disarmament plans of the Sudanese government.

In a general meeting in Mistareeha in North Darfur’s Kabkabiya, under the chairmanship of janjaweed leader Musa Hilal, the Border Guards unanimously decided not to give up their weapons to government forces.

Haroun Medeikheer, spokesman for the Revolutionary Awakening Council (RAC), established by Musa Hilal, said in a press statement that the meeting was held at the base of the Border Guards in Mistareeha on Saturday,

The meeting discussed three subjects: The integration of the Border Guards into the Rapid Support Forces (Sudan’s official government militia), Khartoum’s plans to collect illegal weapons, and peaceful coexistence among the various communities in Darfur.

“The outcomes of the meeting are a definite refusal of the government plans, unless a recognised mechanism is established,” Medeikheer reported. “We will keep to this stance, even if this will put us beyond state authority.”

He said that the meeting further denounced tribal fighting, and called for peaceful coexistence between the various communities in the conflict-torn region and for unity.

Last month, Khartoum announced a nationwide disarmament campaign, to be started in Darfur and Kordofan. The army and the allied paramilitary Rapid Support Forces will be tasked with collecting illegal arms and unlicensed vehicles from civilians in the regions.

The authorities as well plan to integrate the members of the various government militias into the Rapid Support Forces, a militia created in 2013 to fight the various rebel groups in the country. The Border Guards opposed this plan from the start. According to the RAC disarmament of civilians in Darfur “clearly targets Sheikh Musa Hilal and his tribe”.

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