Wednesday, January 18, 2017

UN: Two Darfur Rebel Groups Retreat to Libya, South Sudan
(18 Jan.)

Two rebel groups driven out of Darfur by a Sudanese military offensive now operate mostly in Libya and South Sudan but hope to return to fight again, according to a new UN report Monday.

Sudan meanwhile is breaking out of international isolation -- the Obama administration eased its sanctions on Friday -- giving the Khartoum government "more leeway to pursue a Darfur deal on its own terms," said the report by a panel of experts.

"JEM and SLA/MM no longer have a significant presence in Darfur as a result of the government’s effective counterinsurgency strategy," said the report.

"JEM now operates mostly in South Sudan, while SLA/MM operates mainly in Libya. These groups are engaged in mercenary activities and, allegedly, in criminal activities in those countries," it added.

The JEM and SLA/MM have adopted a "waiting strategy," working to rebuild their fighting forces in Libya and South Sudan until there are "new opportunities to re-engage in Darfur with strengthened military capabilities," said the report.

The UN Security Council is expected to discuss peace efforts in Darfur on Friday.

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