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Musa Hilal’s group calls for armed action

November 23 - 2018 EL SAREIF BENI HUSSEIN
Sheikh Musa Hilal, known as the former commander of janjaweed forces, who is now arrested and detained after his refusal to cooperate with the collection of weapons in Darfur (file photo)
Sheikh Musa Hilal, known as the former commander of janjaweed forces, who is now arrested and detained after his refusal to cooperate with the collection of weapons in Darfur (file photo)

The Sudanese Revolutionary Awakening Council led by the imprisoned militia leader Musa Hilal, declared in a statement yesterday that it will launch military action to overthrow the regime in Sudan.

Ahmed Abakar, spokesman for the council (RAC) denounced the economic conditions in the country and the lack of political freedoms in Sudan. He pointed out that the Sudanese government and the ruling National Congress Party are responsible.

Therefore the council “officially announces the launch of the military phase to liberate the country from the grip of the ruling gang through revolutionary action and military confrontation with the Khartoum government, which will continue by all means available.”

The RAC leaders have taken this decision in view of the country's structural imbalances regarding the financial and health situation, as well as the suppression of public opinion and attempts to dismantle camps for displaced people, according to Abakar.

Arrests

Sheikh Musa Hilal, known as the former commander of janjaweed forces, was arrested in November 2017 when he refused to let the affiliated Border Guards forces hand over their weapons to join the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of Sudan. His trial secretly began on April 30.

Last week, the Sudan National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) raided the Omdurman house of Ismail El Aghbash, a member of the leadership of the RAC and arrested 10 members of the Council.

Hilal is held responsible for the atrocities committed in Darfur against civilians after the conflict erupted in 2003. In that year, he was released from prison by the Sudanese government with the purpose to mobilise Darfuri Arab herders to fight the insurgency in the region.

With full government backing, Hilal's militiamen (popularly known as janjaweed) targeted villages of African Darfuris. In January 2014, he announced his defection from the ruling National Congress Party he was then enrolled in, and established the RAC.

Security in Darfur

A recent United Nations report said that the security situation in Darfur has improved and set plans for the full withdrawal of its peacekeeping Unamid troops in 2020. In October Jeremiah Mamabolo, the head of Unamid told the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) said that they have not witnessed “any adverse impact” on “the security situation and protection of civilian in areas from which Unamid has withdrawn” so far.

However, according to a report by the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) various developments contributed to the deterioration of the security situation in Darfur last year. Thousands of members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Sudan’s main militia, were stationed in Darfur to carry out the collection of illegal arms and unregistered vehicles.


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