25 September 2017

Sudan: 'Al Bashir Opened New Arms Storage Complex in South Darfur' - RAC

Saraf Omra — The Revolutionary Awakening Council (RAC), led by former janjaweed leader Musa Hilal, claims that President Omar Al Bashir visited Um El Gura in South Darfur's Mershing on Saturday to open a new militia camp and new arms storage buildings.

RAC spokesman Ahmed Abakar told Radio Dabanga that new arms and ammunition stores were built in the area of Um El Gura after the old ones in the state capital Nyala were destroyed in an explosion earlier this year.

The Sudanese president visited the area on Saturday to open a new militia camp and stores for internationally banned heavy weapons, Abakar said. "Al Bashir's unwelcome visit to Darfur means more war, killing, and displacement."

According to the spokesman, the president's visit has also given legitimacy to the new settlers in the villages that were earlier abandoned by the displaced in South Darfur.

"We tell the international community that Darfur is not secure, that the rebels are still there, and that the crimes taking place in the region are committed by the government and its militias," he stated.

Human trafficking

The RAC also reacted to recent reports about its members being involved in smuggling Sudanese and African migrants over the Sudanese border with Libya.

Last week, at least 26 people were killed in a clash between Sudan's Rapid Support Forces militia (RSF) and human traffickers on the Sudanese-Libyan border. 48 migrants were held.

RAC spokesman Haroun Medeikheer confirmed that one of Hilal's bodyguards was among the dead. He denied that the men were smugglers, and spoke about "traders" instead..

In early August, the RSF held another bodyguard of Hilal and six members of the Border Guards, a militia loyal to the former janjaweed leader, on their return from Libya. According to Medeikheer, the seven men had visited the neighbouring country for personal reasons.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga on Sunday, Ali Majok El Momin, leading member of the RAC, on Sunday, denied that Council members were involved in human trafficking.

"The news is unfounded. Those who were killed were traders operating as always in the Sudanese-Libyan border area. The authorities just said that the dead were affiliated with Sheikh Musa Hilal to justify their crime."

El Momin said that 17 traders were detained by the RSF. "We negotiated with these militiamen for three days about the amount to be paid for their release. When no agreement was not reached, the RSF killed them, including ten men from one family."

He added that "the same RSF are trading and smuggling vehicles over the borders with Chad and Libya".

Sudan

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