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Former rebel commander splits from JEM-Bashar

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January 4, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - A leading member of the former rebel Justice and Equality Movement –Bashar (JEM-Bashar) broke away from the group, denouncing tribalism practiced by its leader but the Movement denied the accusations.

JEM-Bashar signed a peace agreement with the Sudanese government in April 2013, however the parties started its effective implementation late by the end of the year due to the killing of the group’s former leader Mohamed Bashar in May of last year.

The legislator rapporteur of the group, commander Mohamed Abu Al-Gassim Ibrahim Abakar announced his dissidence with 37 commanders from the group, saying the Zaghawa control all the military command except the directorate of moral guidance and 18 political commission.

He also accused the leader Bakheit Abdallah Abdel-Karim (Dabajo) of totalitarian practices and accused him of denying the freedom of expression within the group.

"Unfortunately the Movement has became racist as the Zaghawa are taking over the reins of its management and reject views of others", Abakar said in statements to the Khartoum based Al-Meghar on Friday.

In accordance with the peace deal, JEM –Bashar will appoint several ministers in the national and regional institutions and several commanders will be integrated in the Sudan Armed Forces, but the group still did not name his candidates for these positions.

Reached by Sudan Tribune to comment on these accusations, JEM-Bashar spokesperson Sadiq Youssef Zakaria denied the split and reaffirmed that the group is united and supportive to its leader .

"Ibrahim Abakar is a fugitive on the run since three months and he issues these rumours from Al-Jeneina" the capital of West Darfur state, Zakaria said on Saturday .

He further accused "some circles" - he did not name - of trying to disseminate "such rumours" to divide the movement on tribal basis, stressing that his movement is coherent and established on national framework reflecting ethnic diversity.

(ST)

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