12 February 2013

Sudan: Mali's Jihadists Were Transported to Darfur - JEM

Photo: HCR/Y.Djigo
Displaced by fighting.

London — Sudanese government might evacuated Malian jihadists to Darfur from a foreign country, said a leading rebel official from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) who asserted they localised their presence in the troubled North Darfur state.

Tahir El-Faki, speaker of JEM's Legislative Assembly reiterated that the Malian jihadist groups are in Darfur region after a large-scale military operation carried out by the French and Malian armies against their positions in northern Mali earlier this month.

"On Monday our people on the ground noticed their presence in Um Sidr in North Darfur state and some areas near Kutum ", El-Faki told Sudan Tribune.

However he expressed some reservations about reports saying they had entered into Darfur through the Libyan border.

Faki went to say that their people at Jebel Um Al Owainat on the border with Libya did not see any vehicle crossing to Sudan recently.

"So, saying they came through Libya is not accurate, unless they were transported by helicopters or other aircrafts from Kuffra in Libya to Kutum in North Darfur", he concluded.

El-Faki who was in Paris leading a JEM delegation for talks with the French officials said they warned France about the presence of these jihadists in western Sudan, adding that Khartoum may seek in the near future to hand over some of them.

"Sudanese government may deliver some of them to Western countries and demand a reward", he said. "But maybe they also plan to use them to control areas of Golo and Kutum and force the indigenous population to leave their land in Jebel Marra", he added.

Sudanese army is fighting the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement - Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW) in Jaldo and Golo after its capture by the rebel group since December 2012.

Different reports circulate about the fate of the Jihadist groups whose leaders have vanished as no information about their whereabouts.

Le Temps d'Algérie, an Algerian daily newspaper in French language suggested that Qatar had dispatched two airplanes to move the leaders of different jihadist groups that many of them are Algerians.

"This information has been circulating recently" said the director of the French Centre for Research on Intelligence (CF2R),Eric Denécé, in statements published by the Algerian daily on 5 February.

Faki underscored that the Islamists who are arrived in North Darfur are from different countries including Mali Niger and Chad and other foreigners. He added that some of them had been already present in Darfur before to move to Mali last year.

Sudanese and French governments did not react openly to the statements made by the rebel groups on the presence of the Malian rebels.

During his visit to Paris JEM delegation explained to the French government, political parties and civil society groups its positions on the different developments in the country. They also held a meeting with the members of the Sudanese community in the French capital.

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