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Darfur Janjaweed leader invited for talks with Bashir: sources

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March 4, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese presidency has invited the leader of the Darfurian Arab Mahameed clan Musa Hilal to meet with president Omer Hassan al-Bashir in Khartoum, sources told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

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Sudanese President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir (L) talks to tribal leader Musa Hilal during the wedding ceremony between Hilal’s daughter and Chad President Idriss Deby in Khartoum January 20, 2012 (REUTERS/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

The sources said that Hilal received a call from 1st Vice President Bakri Hassan Salih in which the latter also pledged that the government will carry out the reforms he has been calling for.

The 1st VP called on the notorious Janjaweed militia leader to join the comprehensive political dialogue called for by Bashir last January in a live address to the nation.

But Hilal reiterated his past calls for sacking the North Darfur state governor Osman Mohamed Youssef Kibir before talking about any other issues.

The tribal chief has announced earlier this year his departure from the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) to establish a new political movement under the name of the Sudanese Awakening Revolutionary Council (SARC).

In September of last year, Hilal fiercely attacked senior government officials and in particular the Kibir, accusing him of triggering the bloody tribal clashes between the Beni Hussein and Rezeigat.

In recent years he started making statements critical of the NCP, of which he is a member, and calling for deep reforms.

Hilal stands accused by many human rights groups of leading a terror campaign against the African tribes Sudan’s western region of Darfur.

But he has denied any wrongdoing and told Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a videotaped interview in 2005, that he only recruited militias on behalf of Sudan’s central government.

The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when an ethnic minority rose up against the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum, which then was accused of enlisting the Janjaweed militia group to help crush the rebellion.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) imposed travel and financial sanctions on Hilal and three other individuals in April 2006. However, unlike other individuals including Sudan’s president, Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, he is not wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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