January 8, 2011 (KHARTOUM) — The Federal Alliance of Eastern Sudan (FAES), a splinter group of the former rebel Eastern Front, merged today with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) reaffirming the need to step up resistance to overthrow Bashir’s government.
The Eastern Front, a former rebel group in eastern Sudan, signed a peace agreement sponsored by the Eritrean government on 14 October 2007. The deal ended a rebellion started in 1996 with the support of an umbrella of opposition groups called National Democratic Alliance including the SPLM.
The FAES rejected the peace accord and claimed it was forged by Eritrean and Sudanese governments to normalize bilateral relations but it does not contribute to end the marginalization of the region or bring economic development.
Speaking from a JEM controlled area, FAES leader Abdel Moneim Muhi Al-Deen Ahmed told Sudan Tribune that their decision to merge with the western Sudan rebel group was motivated by their desire to end the domination of the center represented by the government of the National Congress Party (NCP).
"The Justice and Equality Movement has a national vision and also include people from the different regions representing the diversity of all the Sudan. So, we are part of this project aiming to end the domination of the center represented by the National Congress Party."
The FAES joined JEM with 270 soldier and five of its leadership council. Adam Abdalla Yahia, the secretary general of the eastern Sudan rebel group said further members of their group will join JEM bases.
He however refused to disclose from where they were speaking by a satellite phone.
In the past before to sign a peace agreement with the government, JEM and eastern Sudan rebels carried out joint military operations against the Sudanese army. At the time the two rebel groups were supported by Eritrea.
Yahia said they started talks on the merger with JEM since eight months ago.
Asked about their position from their former comrades who are now in the national government or regional institutions; FAES Secretary General termed them of "serving as public relations employees for the NCP government".
The eastern Sudan region suffers from chronic poverty and complains of marginalization by the political powers in Khartoum.