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North Darfur governor denies having private militia

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November 14, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — North Darfur Governor Osman Youssef Kibir denied reports about a private militia he is accused of forming in his state called "Kibir’s Militia" and accused rebel groups of bearing the responsible of recent surge of violence.

Different reports underlined since 2010 the end of old alliance between the Sudanese army and Arab militias that took part in the first counter-insurgency war in Darfur. The armed forces, reportedly now recruit its proxy militias among the African tribes that are known for their anti- Zaghawa antagonism.

In line with this policy, North Darfur region witnessed the emergence of a new paramilitary force called Kibir’s Militia formed mainly from the Berti who have different dispute over land ownership with the Zaghawa.

Kibir forces are accused of carrying out fresh attacks in Sigili and Abu Delek villages. The same Berti militia attacked last August Al-Ziyadiah tribe which is an Arab ethnic group that refused to take part in the fighting between the government and the rebel groups.

North Darfur governor on Wednesday dismissed reports about his close links with the Popular Defence Forces terming it as “baseless” and called to not launch unfounded accusations aiming to tarnish the image of government officials.

He stressed on the need to not describe certain tribes as supporting the rebellion in Darfur, adding that the rebels who fight since 2003 have failed to bring solutions to the problems people are facing every day.

The governor was speaking in a reception in A- Fasher organised to celebrate his return after several months of absence outside the country for medical treatment.

Kibir accused the rebel groups of igniting tribal differences over land and the recent fighting in Abu Delek , Kutum and Shangil Tobay.

He also announced that he will visit soon the neighbouring countries of Chad and Libya to boost the local leaders there.

(ST)

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