3 December 2018

Sudan: Protestors Released After Al Bashir Leaves Darfur

Photo: Radio Dabanga
Al-Bashir addresses a mass public rally in Nyala (file photo).

Darfur — Members of the Sudanese Revolutionary Awakening Council (RAC) have been released, after being held for raising banners calling for the release of former janjaweed leader Musa Hilal.

Sheikh Hasabelrasoul Nurein and five others were arrested on Saturday whilst protesting against the imprisonment of the leader of the RAC, Musa Hilal. They also held slogans which called for the release of detainees of Hilal's Mahameed clan.

A relative of the family alleged that the Chief of Security informed detainees that they would be released "after Al Bashir leaves Darfur."

Al Bashir has been in East and South Darfur for the past four days, during which he promised major projects in development, health and education services. In addition, when addressing a crowd in Adila in East Darfur on the day of the arrests, he confirmed the continuation of the National Disarmament Campaign; he warned all those hiding weapons that they would be held accountable.

He pointed out that conflict has hindered development in Darfur and called on its residents to maintain security and stability.

Military action

Last weekend, the council, led by the imprisoned militia leader Musa Hilal declared that it would launch military action to overthrow the regime in Sudan. The statement denounced the financial and health situation in Sudan, as well as the suppression of public opinion and attempts to dismantle camps for displaced people. It also pointed to the Sudanese government and the ruling National Congress Party as responsible parties.

Therefore, the council "officially announces the launch of the military phase to liberate the country from the grip of the ruling gang through revolutionary action and military confrontation with the Khartoum government, which will continue by all means available."

Imprisoned leader

Sheikh Musa Hilal, known as the former commander of janjaweed forces, was arrested in November 2017 with a group of his aides when he refused to let the affiliated Border Guards forces hand over their weapons to join the paramilitary RSF of Sudan. 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 (popularly known as janjaweed) targeted villages of African Darfuris. In January 2014, he announced his defection from the ruling National Congress Party he was then enrolled in, and established the RAC.

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