2 November 2013

Sudan: Darfur Rebels Accuse Chadian President of Interfering in Sudanese Affairs

Khartoum — Two Darfur rebel groups Saturday issued a joint statement condemning the inference of the Chadian president in the Sudanese internal affairs and his support for the Sudanese regime, calling to indict him for his role in Darfur war crimes.

President Idris deby hosted a two-day meeting , on 25-27 October, attended by Zaggawa tribal leaders from Darfur region, in the border town of Um Jarass town. The discussions also were attended by Sudanese state minister tasked with peace file in Darfur, Amin Hassan Omer, and the head of Darfur regional authority, Tijani El-Sissi.

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) alleged that Deby had vowed during the meeting to "wage fierce war" on the two groups, which are led by members of two different Zaggawa clans, if they refuse to strike peace agreement "in the context of the narrow ethnic demands", they said.

The statement which is signed by JEM leader Gibril Ibrahim and SLM-MM chairman Minni Minnawi urged the UN Security Council and the African Union to condemn "this blatant interference in the affairs of Sudan".

Ibrahim and Minnawi further accused the Chadian president of involvement in "ethnic cleansing crimes and genocide in Darfur", asserting that he personally participated in the launch of the counterinsurgency campaign in 2004 which led to the death of over 300,000 civilians, according to the estimation of UN agencies.

The rebel groups called on the International Criminal Court to investigate Deby's role in Darfur crimes, saying he is an "accomplice" with the Sudanese president Omer Al-Bashir who is indicted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Tribal sources in Khartoum say the Sudanese authorities had participated in the organisation of the meeting and extended invitation sot the Zaggawa tribal leaders to attend it.

After long years of trading accusations of support to rebel groups from both sides, Khartoum and N'djamena agreed in 2010 to work together to achieve peace in Darfur and deployed a joint force to prevent cross border attacks by rebel groups.

Chad last year facilitated peace talks between the Sudanese government and a JEM splinter faction led by Mohamed Bashar who signed a deal with Khartoum last April.

Following Bashar's death in clashes with their former comrades near the Chadian border last May, rebel groups claimed that Chadian troops were deployed in Darfur to chase JEM fighters and expel them from the province.


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