Sudan’s Revolutionary Awakening Council call for leader’s release
The Revolutionary Awakening Council led by detainee Musa Hilal report that the security authorities referred Ismail El Aghbash of the leadership of the council to the state security prosecution in preparation for his trial. They have called for his release or that civilian charges be laid against him.
The security authorities arrested El Aghbash in May 2017 from inside an aircraft at Khartoum airport that was bound for Turkey. He has reportedly not been charged after more than a year after his arrest.
The Awakening Council condemned in a statement the arrest of El Aghbash and turning him over to the prosecution for trial.
The statement described his arrest as abusive and held the security services fully responsible for his safety and health.
The statement called on the UN Human Rights Council and the relevant organisations, human rights activists and civil society “to intervene immediately to stop these abusive actions of the National Congress, which is internationally condemned for its human rights record of violations and atrocities”.
Notorious janjaweed leader Musa Hilal and chairman of the Revolutionary Awakening Council (RAC) was arrested in a raid on his stronghold in Misteriya, North Darfur, in November last year. His sons, brothers, and entourage, were detained as well. Hilal, who refused to operate with the government’s disarmament campaign, was transferred to Khartoum. His trial secretly began on April 30.
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 (janjaweed) targeted villages of African Darfuris. They rarely came near forces of the armed rebel movements.
In 2008, Hilal was appointed as Presidential Assistant for Federal Affairs. In January 2014, he announced his defection from the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), and established the RAC.
The Council consists of Hilal’s militiamen and a number of North Darfur native administration leaders. RAC commanders took control of the Jebel Amer gold mining area in El Sareif Beni Hussein locality in July 2015. According to a UN Security Council report in April 2016, Hilal and his entourage were profiting from vast gold sales in Darfur.
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