There are reports of renewed fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan. This is taking place despite the fact that a peace agreement was signed in late February 2010., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Twenty JEM Leading Figures Desert Movement, Accept Doha Peace Document
Zuleikha Abdul Raziq and Mohamed Abdullah
Khartoum – A group of former rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) field commanders Wednesday announced their defection from JEM and expressed willingness to join the peace process based on the Doha Darfur Peace Document to address issues.
The breakaway group, calling themselves the Sudan Justice and Equality Movement – Corrective Leadership (SJEM-CL), at press conference in Khartoum said they would not recognize the so-called Justice and Equality Movement, describing it as a ''racist and corrupt'' movement which has looted civilian property and recruited children to fight in its ranks.
In statement to the press, the group said they deserted JEM because it has deviated from its declared goals to fight for justice and equality, adding that the movement is now dominated by members of one family who are the key decision-makers who also have assisted dictators in neighbouring countries consolidate their regimes.
They said the family members who dominate JEM do not tolerate any voice for reform within JEM. They imprison and even execute whosoever dares to challenge their leadership.
Maulana Yousuf Hamid Mukhayar who was in charge of legal affairs in JEM, told the press conference that after their group defected and joined the peace process, JEM has now ran out of fighters in the field. He added that the movements which oppose peace in Darfur would meet the same fate, meaning the group of Abdul Wahid Mohamed Nur.
“After the killing of its leader, JEM has now become isolated regionally and internationally,” he said.
It is worth mentioning that twenty senior JEM field commanders have announced their defection from JEM and joined the peace process. These commanders are: Zakariya Musa Abbas nick-named (Dush), member of JEM Executive Office; Maulana Yousuf Eissa Hamaid Mukhayar, JEM Secretary of Legal Affairs; Maj. Gen. Yasin Osman Saeed Kibir, commander of nomad sector; Maj. Gen. Hamid Mohamed, Commander Sabeel Al-Daleel Khalil, JEM Deputy Secretary of Intelligene (Kordofan) and Al-Sadiq Ahmed.
Mukhayar has called on the United Nations (UN) and the international community to put pressure on what he described as remnants of Khalil movement which continue to jail and physically liquidate leaders of the movement who call for reform. “These leaders are now languishing in JEM prisons in Juba and we do not rule out their execution.”
Omer Abdullah Karma, a breakaway commander who was member of JEM executive office, revealed that JEM is in a bad state of affairs after the killing of its leader Khalil Ibrahim, saying the movement is now bent on looting and terrorizing civilians at areas of traditional mining of gold. He said JEM kidnapped large number of civilians to South Sudan and recruited them against their will to fight on its ranks.
Karma disclosed that JEM has fought on the side of Qaddafi against the Libyan revolutionaries where it lost many of its senior commanders. He said the members of the defected group are committed to exert efforts to return the civilians who have been imprisoned by JEM in South Sudan.
“We have decided to give peace a chance in response to the call from the stakeholders and civil society in Darfur in order to alleviate the suffering in Sudan in general and in Darfur in particular” he said.
The defected group announced in the statement, a copy of which Sudan Vision obtained, their rejection of violence as a means for change because it will increase the suffering of the people of Darfur. The statement affirmed the commitment of the defected leaders to seriously work with all the political forces to formulate a permanent constitution for the country.
Zakariya Musa Abbas, member of the defected group who served as member of JEM executive office, expressed the readiness of the group to continue efforts with all the political forces to achieve peace based on the Doha Document.
January 11, 2012
US Military to Help Build South Sudan
Luis Ramirez | The Pentagon
The United States military is joining efforts to help build the newly independent nation of South Sudan.
U.S. Defense officials say they are dispatching five officers from the Army, Air Force, Navy, and the Marines starting January 13 on the orders of President Barack Obama.
South Sudan gained independence last July and has been hit by outbreaks of internal violence, with groups battling one another along ethnic and political lines.
U.S. officials say the military officers have been assigned to a U.N. mission and will engage in what the Pentagon says are peace operations.
Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain John Kirby said the officers will not be involved in combat.
“The mission is really to help as South Sudan begins to stand itself up - to help with governance, rule of law and civil affairs. And that’s what these five individuals are experts at, those kinds of things: logistics, civil affairs. And right now, that’s the limit of the involvement of these five individuals,” said Kirby.
Kirby said the mission could change over time.
The decision to send officers follows a White House memorandum last week to send weapons and defense aid to South Sudan.
In addition to internal violence, the new nation has seen rising tensions on its border with Sudan. The two countries have yet to settle a dispute on sharing oil resources in the region.
The United States has been boosting its military assistance to Africa in recent months. In October, Obama announced the deployment of about 100 troops to Uganda and other parts of Central Africa to help armies in the region battle the Lord’s Resistance Army guerrilla group.
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Bashir says working with Libya to protect borders
Sun, Jan 8 2012
By Mohammed Al Tommy
BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Sunday he was working with Libyan leaders to secure the border between the two countries and prevent the smuggling of weapons to rebel groups in Sudan.
Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on genocide charges, arrived in Libya on Saturday.
Asked on Sunday if he was worried he might be arrested and handed over to the ICC, he answered: "By God, No."
"Not in Libya, I am ready to move around Libya without security guards."
During the visit, Bashir has stressed the need to protect Libya's southern borders, which he said former dictator Muammar Gaddafi used to smuggle weapons to rebels in Sudan.
"We don't want borders for exchanging weapons, rebels and mercenaries," Bashir told a gathering of Sudanese nationals and Libyan officials in the eastern city of Benghazi.
He said Sudan supported diplomatic efforts between Libya's ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) and the North African country's neighbours, including Chad, Niger and Mali, to secure borders.
"We want to support these contacts so we can turn Libya's borders with the rest of region's states into a venue for trade and the movement of citizens," he said.
NTC Vice Chairman Abdul Hafiz Ghoga confirmed the government was holding discussions on the issue with Sudan and other nations.
"We are working hard on protecting our borders with our neighbours," he said.
Relations between Khartoum and Tripoli were strained during Gaddafi's rule because of the dictator's support for rebels in Sudan's western Darfur region and in South Sudan, which gained independence in July under a 2005 peace deal.
Bashir said Sam-7 anti-aircraft missiles had been smuggled to the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement during Libya's nine-month civil war. He said the missiles posed no danger as they had been stored without proper maintenance.
Bashir said on Saturday he had offered the new Libyan government help from Sudanese troops in protecting Libya's southern borders during the war that ousted Gaddafi, but that his offer had been declined.
Libya and U.S. officials have said they want to prevent militants from acquiring weapons, especially thousands of anti-aircraft launchers, from Gaddafi's huge arsenals.
(Writing by Mahmoud Habboush; Editing by Alessandra Rizzo)
Sudan, Libya to Form Joint Ministerial Committee
Khartoum - Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Karti described President Al Bashir's recent visit to neighboring Libya as ‘important’, pointing out the President reviewed key issues of mutual concern with Libyan leaders.
Karti stated to press that the two sides stressed the acceleration of procedures facilitating full cooperation, adding that President Al Bashir has assured Libyan leaderships of Sudan's commitment to protection of joint borders.
He further pointed out that the two sides agreed to form joint ministerial committee responsible for upgrading political and economic cooperation between the two countries. Karti announced that ministers of labor of the two sides will meet soon to investigate situations of Sudanese recruits working in Libya. He expressed his comfort on Libyan authentic desire to cooperate with Sudan, considering it as crucial step towards full establishment of fruitful relations not only for the two countries but the whole region.
Meanwhile, Karti depicted US decision lifting ban of the weapons of South Sudan as extension to US violations against her own laws, adding that Sudan doesn't wait for any support from the US.