Sudan Denies Harbouring Malian Militants

Photo: Brahima Ouedraogo/IRIN
Mali militants.

Khartoum — Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) denied the presence of Malian jihadist groups in Darfur after statements by rebel groups saying they had been seen near Kutum in North Darfur state.

Also the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said this week that the Malian rebels were working with a government - militia group called Abu Teira and released pictures displaying two vehicles allegedly transporting militiamen and Malian Tuareqs.

In statement released by the pro-government SMC website on Wednesday, SAF spokesperson Al-Sawarmi Khaled said the security services are closely monitoring the borders, describing the rebel statements as "unfounded".

He further said d that JEM claims intend to convince the international community that Khartoum is harbouring and supporting terrorist and extremist elements.

French and Malian armies since the last month launched an attack on the Malian Tuareq and their allied foreign jihadis who were controlling the northern part of the western African nation.

Paris on Tuesday confirmed the death of a second French soldier in the clashes with the jihadist groups near the border with Algeria in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountain range.

French sources denied that Paris has any concrete evidence about the arrival of any armed militants from Mali to Darfur.

The rebel groups say, in statements they issued, that the Malian jihadists of Ansar Al-Islam entered into Darfur from Libya.

However the different versions diverge over the role of the Libyan authorities. Some say they were in contact with the Libyan Islamists, but others insist that the government transported them by airplanes to western Sudan.

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InFocus

Sudan Denies Harbouring Mali Militants

Mali militants.

Local rebels say they have pictures to prove their claims regarding the presence of Mali fighters in the country, allegations which the army has denied. Read more »