SPLM-N urges EU ‘not to fund the wars in Sudan’

The European Union (EU) may finance Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in its fight against illegal migration and human trafficking, says the secretary-general of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).

The European Union (EU) may finance Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in its fight against illegal migration and human trafficking, says the secretary-general of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).

Yasir Arman, Secretary-General of the SPLM-N, stated in a report on Saturday that the European plans to provide support to the RSF, commanded by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), will prolong the wars in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, the Blue Nile, and Darfur.

“We received specific and detailed information about a plan drawn by [President] Omar El Bashir and his security apparatus to finance the janjaweed, reconstituted as the Rapid Response Forces, from funds provided to Sudan by the EU, especially funds from the German government, and technical support from the Italian government,” he says.

“This plan is under the direct supervision, control, and command of the Presidency of the Republic. It is executed by the NISS, of which the RSF are part. This devilish plan, which was hatched and implemented over the past three months, has put the RSF in charge of guarding the Sudanese borders with the false intention to curb migration to Europe, stop human trafficking, and fight terrorism.

“The objective is to give international legitimacy to the janjaweed forces, and hide the crimes against humanity and the killings of Sudanese civilians, under European countries’ and the international community blessings.”

The plan has been widely covered in the media. “The RSF commander has held several press conferences in which he claimed the loss of more than 150 vehicles, while carrying out its border control duties at the Libyan and Egyptian borders. However, he did not give details of the forces he was fighting, the times and locations of these fights, or images to support his claim.

Next dry season

According to the rebel leader, the Sudanese government planned to receive more funds from Europe, and procure more military equipment [..] before the end of the rainy season, “to use them in the conflict zones during the coming dry season.

“This means more killing of civilians, especially in the three conflict zones [Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile]. It is clear that the Sudanese government aims to fund its wars against its own people with European money [..].

“These janjaweed forces have attacked and committed atrocities against civilians in Sudan and neighbouring countries at the Sudanese-Egyptian and Libyan borders. We therefore urge the EU to be aware of this plot, and to stop funding these forces because that amounts to supporting genocide and prolonging the suffering of the people of Sudan.”

Arman expressed his amazement that the RSF militia “lately started talking about fighting terrorism. They are expecting to receive American funding after it has guaranteed the flow of European funds.”

“We must not forget that the janjaweed were originally formed for the sole purpose of ethnic cleansing in Darfur. Over the years they have committed atrocities against Sudanese people all over the country, including many rape cases in Darfur [..]. The janjaweed were recently reconstituted, into the RSF and linked to the NISS, to hide its past and give it legitimacy, hoping that we will forget their criminal past.”

The SPLM-N secretary-general concludes his advocacy statement by saying that “We are confident that the European and the world’s public opinion will not be caught off guard while General Al Bashir implements this criminal plot”.

Control over €100 million

During a visit of Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour to Brussels in February this year, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, agreed with Ghandour “to strengthen the relations in areas of shared interest”.

The EU Emergency Trust Fund announced in this respect that it would prepare a €100 million package for Sudan “to support concrete efforts to tackle migration”.

In April, the head of the eastern Sudanese El Tawasul Party, Idris Shedali, called on the EU to take control over the spending of the €100 million. He demanded the presence and participation of the EU on the ground, to monitor and evaluate the situation and listen directly to the victims. He denounced “the complicity of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) forces with human trafficking gangs”, which he said are “organised and possess modern weapons and vehicles”.

Shedali also accused the NISS and police of “committing abuses against the refugees from neighbouring countries”.

‘No thanks’

Last week, the RSF field commander, Maj. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, hit out at the EU for not thanking his forces for stopping illegal migrants at the Sudan-Libya border.

“Although the RSF lost many of its members and vehicles during their pursuit operations in the Libyan desert, the EU has not expressed its gratitude,” he said.