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New breakaway rebel faction claims removal of Darfur JEM leader


July 30, 2007 (LONDON) — A new breakaway faction of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has announced the removal of the leader of the movement accusing him of hegemony and use of force to eliminate members of the group.

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Khalil Ibrahim

A new splinter faction called "JEM – Eastern Command" denounced, in a press statement issued on Sunday July 29, the dictatorial leadership of Khalil Ibrahim, the leader of the JEM since his return to Darfur. They also blamed Khalil of using violence against his comrades-in-arms.

They also contested the removal of Abdalla Banda Abbaker from his position as Commander General of JEM Forces on July 1, 2007.

The JEM- Eastern Command said in a statement, signed by 10 commanders, that a conference would be held within 15 days to address the situation and to study the exclusion of Abbaker Banda.

But Nourein Adam Abdel Gaffa, spokesman of the faction told Reuters that they decided to sack Khalil Ibrahim “from his leadership position and wanted members of JEM’s army to represent the group at the rebel meeting in Tanzania beginning on Aug. 3.”

Since his return from France earlier this year Khalil Ibrahim accorded more time to re-organize the military command of the JEM.

However JEM spokesperson Ahmed Hussein Adam denied in a statement to Reuters the removal of Khalil Ibrahim indicating that he would lead the JEM delegation to Arusha talks.

A reliable source from the JEM, who declined to be identified, told Sudan Tribune that the splinter faction headed by the former Commander General of JEM Forces, is a "very marginal group".

He further disclosed that the removal of Abdalla Banda Abbaker came after a petition presented to the leader of the JEM signed by 70 commanders blaming Abdalla Banda of nepotism and tribal attitudes.

The source further explained that Abdalla Banda accorded privileges to Zaggawa commanders while he was very tough with the non-Zaggawa members of the JEM.

JEM is often presented as Zaggawa tribe movement.

"Khalil Ibrahim in his move wanted to correct the image of the movement because he was bothered by the petition of the 70 commanders said the source". Adding "This why he relieved Abdalla Banda from his position."


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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 31 July 2007 14:26, by Kifly Merhu

    Division without end. The positive thing is, that the new faction don’t want to belong to the entities who want to monoplize the Darfur issue and is ready to attend the Arusha talks.

    repondre message

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