Home | News    Sunday 4 September 2011

Wikileaks: Janjaweed leader slams VP Taha & Nafie, blames NCP for Darfur crimes


September 3, 2011 (WASHINGTON) – A suspected leader of the notorious Janjaweed militias in Darfur was apologetic over the crimes committed in Sudan’s western region but blamed it on the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and a core group of Islamists within it, a leaked US diplomatic cable discloses.

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Leader of the Mahameed clan and suspected Janjaweed leader Musa Hilal (NYT)

The document says that on September 23, 2009 the US Charge d’affaires (CDA) Alberto Fernandez attended a Ramadan Iftar held by Darfuri-American activist and prominent Arab tribal leader Walid Madibo who is also a USAID implementing partner.

In attendance also was Musa Hilal who is described by several rights groups and eyewitnesses as the man who led a terror campaign against the African tribes in the war ravaged region.

The UN Security Council (UNSC) imposed travel and financial sanctions on Hilal and three other individuals in April 2006. The US president George Bush issued an executive order enforcing similar sanctions on them.

At the event Fernandez met one-in-one with Hilal which was described as the third meeting of its kind with a US official.

Hilal told the US diplomat that the Arab tribes were manipulated by a hysterical Khartoum afraid that Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) leader John Garang was seeking to open a new front in Darfur just as negotiations reached their final stage on the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

"I was let out of prison and was angry at the world. My tribe had been attacked. Khartoum armed me and pushed tribal vengeance into something worse" the tribal leader was quoted as saying.

The 46 years old was jailed by the Sudanese authorities in 1998 for leading armed robbery of the central bank in the city of Nyala in Darfur. However the First Vice president Ali Osman Taha secured his release in 2002 in order to fight the rebellion in Darfur according to multiple reports.

In early 2008 Hilal was appointed by president Omer Hassan al-Bashir as an Advisor to the Ministry of Federal Rule. The move, according to the US cable, was intended to keep him on a short leash after he flirted with joining the SPLM in Juba in late 2007 during the SPLM "cabinet crisis".

He sarcastically noted his role as a ministerial advisor, "We advise them on nothing. We have no power, everything, every killing is decided in Khartoum. You call us ’Janjaweed’ but that is not a word we use, those are bandits, thieves and robbers".

The suspected Janjaweed leader in his conversation on the beginnings of the Darfur conflict said the region was awash in weapons, supplied by Libya in the years of its many Chadian interventions.

"We don’t feel we had a choice as our tribal enemies were with the rebels" he said. The Arab tribes couldn’t disarm unilaterally in the face of heavily armed rebel groups aching for revenge.

Nonetheless Hilal said he regretted much about those years adding that he has apologised to the African Fur tribe and other leaders for his actions and those of the Mahameed clan that he leads.

Hilal lashed out at the NCP and hardcore Islamists within it saying they are responsible for Darfur carnage.

"I am not a member of the NCP. My family has always been Unionists (Democratic Unionist Party members). We are Sufis and not fundamentalists" Hilal said.

He said that Bashir had been led astray by the likes of Islamic fundamentalists including Vice President Taha and deputy NCP chairman Nafie Ali Nafie.

Hilal indicated that he would like to see the Sudanese president arrest the NCP leaders, hold them responsible for their crimes and rule Sudan with the help of the Northern opposition parties National Umma Party, DUP and the SPLM.

"Someone said that President Bush wanted the heads of two people: Bin Laden and Musa Hilal. But I am not as you think I am,” he said. "The political leader I am closest to and admire is President [Idriss] Deby of Chad."

The cable said that Hilal “snorted appreciatively” when CDA described the NCP earlier as experts in "deception, delay and false promises," commenting that "you know them well then."

"If we had a choice, we would be with America against the NCP."

Hilal described Darfur’s Arab militias as "disloyal to Khartoum. We found out that we have more in common with the Africans of Darfur than with these Nile Valley Arabs". He added that the Arab tribes of Darfur were constantly told by Khartoum officials that the Americans were "out to get them."

In 2004, the then Director of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services Salah Gosh gave a rare interview to Reuters and made the first confession of its kind that the government armed the Janjaweed militias. He added that they would not make the same mistake in the country’s east where the local population at the time began to take arms against the central government.

Prior to this interview, the Sudanese government has vehemently denied any links to the militias. Furthermore, Gosh acknowledged that human rights violations took place in Darfur and stressed that those responsible would be brought to justice.

The application filed by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against president Bashir in 2008 mentioned names of other Sudanese officials that assisted in recruiting Janjaweed including Gosh, Presidential Assistant Nafie Ali Nafie, Defence Minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, Head of Military Intelligence and Deputy Chief of Staff General Awad Ibn Auf and State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmed Haroun.

Taha was quoted in the ICC application as telling 15 Janjaweed commanders that the war in Darfur “had been imposed upon them and that, as Arabs, they should preserve the unity of their land and religion”.

In his discussion with Fernandez, Hilal pleaded for US understanding.

"We want a place in the American agenda for Darfur. We want to see your policy goals succeed there. He said that he wanted to find whatever way I can to be helpful to the Americans,” Hilal said.

"We don’t understand what your goal in Darfur is, we want to understand and be helpful." He repeatedly emphasised that the loyalty of Darfur’s Arab tribes, and presumably his own, is up for grabs, if the West is interested.

He added that he wanted nothing for himself except the opportunity to travel freely.

Last year sources told the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Hilal disappeared after feeling frustrated with the government which barred him from leaving to Jordan to seek medical treatment citing security reasons.


Hilal went on to give his analysis of Darfur’s African tribes. He dismissed the power of the various Zaghawa-dominated rebel groups such as the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). He said the latter is strong only because of Chadian support and the heavy use of Chadian mercenaries.

The Mahameed clan leader said that JEM chief Khalil Ibrahim recruits lesser tribes along the border as cannon fodder, "there aren’t that many Zaghawa that are still fighters" as the upwardly mobile tribe moves to the cities to become successful traders and businessmen.

Hilal characterised the Fur people of Darfur are much more formidable as they are “smarter and fight better, but they lack the weapons, vehicles and preparation”.

"The Fur should lead [in Darfur] as they are "wiser, better educated and moderate" he said in an unusual comment from a key Arab figure in Darfur.

In the comment section of the cable added by US embassy officials, Hilal was described as “compelling and surprisingly articulate figure (in Arabic) who seems eager to break with Khartoum and find some sort of accommodation from the West for himself and his band of rogues. He longs for contact and recognition and was not shy about his contempt for the Islamist politicians in Khartoum (he was silent, however, about his likely paymasters in the Sudanese military/security apparatus).

“He [Hilal] does feel, and is probably right, that tribesmen like himself are in danger of being made scapegoats at war crimes tribunals for policy decisions made in the capital. Although Hilal was only one of many ruthless Arab militia field commanders in Darfur, his media exposure during the worse years of the genocide will always make him a marked man. He is smart and aware enough to know that and to look for a way out without comprehending that none is likely to exist for him. If anything, this meeting also underscores the shallow, mercurial nature of Khartoum’s relationship with their most trusted allies in the field in Darfur”.


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  • 4 September 2011 07:38, by MINDED.DUDE

    Janjaweed have to be disarm first before SPLA-N.
    Mohammed ALI,SAM ETO,KHARTOUM92 AND JALABIA have to lay their arms first before SPLA-N

    repondre message

    • 4 September 2011 08:40, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

      nobody is bother by groups of wicked people reveal their gangster dirty work of killing Darfur people if this useless arab janjaweed militia knew that he was being push by khartoum gangs, than why did he even dare to go there and killed innocence people of Darfur without refusing to killed them?

      there is not differences between who carried out masscre in Darfur and who give the orders to killed Darfur people, those are the same groups of murder.

      What concren us is the border demarcation between criminals Khartoum and useful Juba Gov.

      Demarcating of border should be put as a first step in the Government of south sudan since the fake arab of sudan thinks that they own the land of black people.

      But i am so distracted by south sudan president for appointed Riek machar to be the one oversee the process of demarcation of border because this Riek can never be trust by minded people due to his low thinking capbility. Riek machar cannot be given a task which he could not manage to carry out sucessfully, look how many time did he sucess of reslved any disputs in south or in sudan rether than supporting khartoum gov?

      some people in south sudan don’t ve intelligency to understand Riek machar ability of doing things batter,

      people are very confuse some people think that because Riek machar being a vice president mean that he is good at what he can do but that is not how it work, he[Riek machar] has been sellected in oreder to silence his greedy of power off.

      Believe it or not Riek machar is a disease in south sudan just because he need power like nothings in his life. he is also selfish man who love non other than his stomach.

      He is a man that when he is defeat politicaly, he resort into tribal politcs which mean that his own ability of do jobs is by orgnised the nuer gangs and tell them to carry out his self interest which is his intake which he think that it will not intact nuer as a south sudan community,

      people of south sudan, Riek machar is not a frindly with people whom he don’t have anythings to gain from them. he is a a man of instalmant.

      the way i see Riek machar in the government of south sudam make me sick and thinks of mafia and hertle.

      He is a symbol of death in nuer societies.

      Appointing him to oversee the very important issues such as this border Demarcation is a jake and the south sudan government will be a jake because him Riek Machar have hindding agenda of reducing Dinkas population by giving a way Abyei to Arab just like what his granparents did when they give a way part of the nuer community to Ethoipian,

      Keeping Riek machar in the government is doom and wicked and if there is any minded person who can see this hidding agenda. riek could be remove and replace by other good nuer if the post was for them [nuer].

      Good is great and he can remove Riek machar without man saying it,

      repondre message

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