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Guard killed in attack on ex-rebel leader in Central Darfur

April 17 - 2017 ZALINGEI
Defected SLM-AW rebels and Governor Jaafar Abdelhakam in Zalingei, after the signing of the Korona Peace Agreement, 6 November 2016 (RD)
Defected SLM-AW rebels and Governor Jaafar Abdelhakam in Zalingei, after the signing of the Korona Peace Agreement, 6 November 2016 (RD)

The head of a Darfur rebel breakaway faction survived an assassination attempt in Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, on Saturday. One of his guards was killed.

A witness told Radio Dabanga that unidentified gunmen tried to break into the house of former rebel leader Abu Jamal Khalil, in the Karanik district in Zalingei on Saturday evening.

“Khalil’s guards resisted, and in the ensuing gunfight one of them was killed,” he said. “Another guard and civilian named Hamoudi El Hadi Darajat were injured.”

Khalil is the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement-General Command, who, together with other high-level commanders, defected from Abdelwahid El Nur’s mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) in early November last year. After two days of negotiations with the authorities of Central Darfur, they signed the Korona peace agreement with the state government in Zalingei on 6 November.


The SLM-AW, that, together with the Justice and Equality Movement took up arms against the Khartoum government in 2002-03, has witnessed a number of splits. The largest one was the breakaway of a group led by Minni Minawi in 2006. They were divided on the issue of the Darfur Peace Agreement.

In 2013-14, other smaller groups defected: the Liberation Movement for Justice (LMJ-TH), led by El Taher Hajar, SLM-Unity, led by Abdallah Yahya, and the SLM-Second Revolution (SLM-SR) under the command of Abulgasim Imam El Haj.

Last Friday, the Governor of Central Darfur, announced the defection of a SLM-AW group, led by Abdellatif Abdelhamid (nicknamed Tulus).

In a press conference on Friday in Zalingei, Governor Gaafar Abdelhakam said that his government is in contact with the other SLM-AW commanders, to convince them to join the peace process. “Armed resistance does not work anymore,” he said.

Last year, the Sudanese government scored major military successes against the SLM-AW in Jebel Marra. According to the government, no more than 300 SLM-AW fighters are still in the region as of early 2017. While fighting between government forces and Darfur rebels has not occurred in recent months, attacks against displaced people by militiamen and outlaws continue.

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement, led by Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) are reportedly now mainly based in Libya and South Sudan.

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