Sudan: Family of Janjaweed Leader Detained in Sudan to Petition UN

Khartoum — The family of Musa Hilal, former janjaweed leader and president of the Revolutionary Awakening Council (RAC), Musa Hilal, currently detained in Khartoum, has announced that a body of international lawyers has filed a complaint to the United Nations Human Rights Council against the government of Sudan over the arrest of Musa Hilal and his companions.

On Tuesday, the family of Musa Hilal said in a statement that the committee will start filing a complaint against Sudan to the African Commission for Human Rights about the violations it is alleged the Hilal and the other detainees of the RAC have been subject to for more than two years.

Arrested

Hilal was held, together with a number of his relatives and followers, in a raid on his stronghold in Misteriya, North Darfur, in November 2017, after he refused to respond to the government's disarmament campaign. He was immediately transferred to a prison in Khartoum. His trial secretly began on April 30, 2018.

Hilal is held responsible for numerous 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, his militiamen, popularly called janjaweed, targeted villages of African Darfuris. They rarely came near forces of the armed rebel movements.

In 2008, the militia leader was appointed as Presidential Assistant for Federal Affairs. In January 2014 however, he announced his defection from the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), returned to Darfur and established the RAC.

The RAC consists of Hilal's militiamen and a number of North Darfur native administration leaders. RAC commanders took control of the Jebel Amer gold mining area in El Sareif Beni Hussein locality in July 2015. According to a UN Security Council report in April 2016, Hilal and his entourage were profiting from vast gold sales in Darfur.

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