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Darfur rebels deny reports of involvement in Libya

February 4 - 2019 LIBYA
Justice and Equality Movement ride jeeps (file photo)
Justice and Equality Movement ride jeeps (file photo)

Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has strongly denied reports by Al Jazeera television on Saturday that their armed forces are supporting forces in southern Libya which attacked the Tibo tribe in southern Libya with the aim of eliminating them.

Yesterday, Mutasim Saleh, JEM Secretary of Information and spokesman said in a statement that the movement categorically denies these allegations and false claims.

He stressed that the movement neither has nothing to do with the Libyan-Libyan conflict which is an internal affair nor supports any group in Libya in any form.

He said that the claim is self-contradictory as Libyan general Khalifa Haftar, who leads the Libyan forces in the eastern part of the country himself, had earlier claimed that JEM supports its opponents in the Libyan conflict. He said this shows that the Libyan parties do not know their real enemy.

He stressed that the JEM, which has set up the values of justice and equality, cannot be involved in wars of genocide against any group or people and will not fight to defeat the rights of others for whatever reasons or justifications.


Late 2018, Darfuri rebel groups disclaimed the findings of a report by a United Nations Panel of Experts, which claimed that the rebels are strengthening their presence in Libya to build up military strength and return to fighting the government forces in Sudan.

The report, sent to the Security Council in August 2018 said: “in recent months, most of the Darfur rebel groups have consolidated their presence in Libya.” Many of them have joined Libyan armed groups and are “reportedly building up their military capabilities in order to be ready to return to Sudan when the environment becomes more conducive,” according to the report. It also mentions that “Libya has emerged as an important source of financing for Darfuri armed groups.”

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, the spokesman of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Mutasim Ahmed Saleh, said: “The Committee of Experts has to draw information from various parties involved in the conflict in Sudan instead of relying on government sources only.”

Ahmed Saleh said that many people who flee wars and poverty in Africa are headed to Libya, to flee to Europe. He claimed that what is happening in Libya is one of the repercussions of the European attempt to prevent migration. “It has made young people from various African countries work with Libyan groups for material gains after being stranded there.”

“The research has to draw information from various parties, not only the Sudanese government.” - JEM

Acled report

According to the Armed Conflict Location and Events Data Project (Acled), a dataset designed for disaggregated conflict analysis and crisis mapping, violence flared up again along the borders between Chad, Sudan and Libya in the second week of January, “showing once more the high instability in this area hosting multiple armed groups.”

The Acled report mentions that at least two incursions were reported in the town of Sebha in the beginning of January, including one targeting the security directorate. In response to the rising activity along its borders with Chad and Sudan, the Libyan air force launched new air strikes and deployed further forces on January 12th to counter Chadian and Sudanese armed groups.

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