Sudan: Rebels posing as Janjawid

Rebels masquerading as the Janjawid have killed 28 local tribesmen in attacks in western Sudan over the past week, a Sudanese official and tribal leader from the area said.

Rebels acting as Janjawid are acccused of abuse in Darfur
Rebels acting as Janjawid are acccused of abuse in Darfur

Governor of Sudan’s Nile River State, Abd Allah Massar, said on Tuesday rebels from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) had since 29 July launched daily raids against the Rizaiqat tribe in southern Darfur.

Rebels claimed the tribe is of Arab origin thus making it a target.

“They attacked previously, over the past few weeks, but now they are attacking daily,” Massar said. The rebels, in an attempt to be camouflaged as Janjawid, were riding camels and horses, dressed similarly and copying the style of Janjawid.

“They want people to think they are Janjawid,” thus putting more pressure on Khartoum, said Massar.

Rebel involvement

Massar said locals had reported the attacks around the town of al-Diayn to African Union monitors observing the ceasefire. The observers visited the area on Monday.

“They want people to think they are Janjawid”

Abd Allah Massar,
Governor of Nile River State

Senior SLM official Adam Ali Shugar denied the allegations, but said Khartoum had been arresting Janjawid in the area for several weeks now. However, he said the Janjawid were being used by Khartoum to crush the rebellion.

After signing a truce agreement with Khartoum in April, the rebels walked out on talks with Khartoum, insisting on having their demands met as a precondition for talks, according to UN officials.

The officials tried on numerous occasions to mend the situation and restart the talks. Their attempts were referred to as “confidence-building measures” by a UN representative.

Rebel groups have been escorting human rights organisations and UN officials acting as translators in the region, and have been using their positions to further their political interests.

UN acknowledgment

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has dissmissed on Tuesday Sudan’s negative reaction to the UN resolution on the Darfur humanitarian crisis, saying Khartoum is “moving in the right
direction” in implementing it.

The resolution calls on Khartoum to implement commitments to resolve the crisis in Darfur where the Janjawid are accused of humanitarian abuses in fighting rebels, or face sanctions.

Annan said the reaction from Khartoum showed that Sudanese officials understood the resolution, which he said was “loud and clear”.

12,000 deployed?

In an interview with Aljazeera, Sudan’s Information Minister said the government was prepared to deploy 12,000 troops to the Darfur region over a four-month period.

The Sudanese government says it
will deploy 12,000 troops to Darfur

Analysts in the region said the rebels exploited a land issue between two tribes and turned it into an Arab versus African issue, while media agencies are not doing their homework correctly, said a Sudanese analyst on condition of anonymity.

The region, its people and the government have been demonised due to political gain by the rebels of the south. Now the people of Darfur and Sudan are bearing the brunt of it, he added.

In Khartoum on Monday, army spokesman General Muhammad Bashir Sulayman said in the Al Anbaa newspaper that “the Security Council resolution about the Darfur issue is a
declaration of war on Sudan and its people”.

“The Sudanese army is now prepared to confront the enemies of Sudan on land, sea and air,” he said.

He also said: “The UN resolution is a decision to go to war and has no moral or humanitarian value. We maintain our right to respond in case of foreign military intervention, and we will not welcome invaders with flowers and flags.”

Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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