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Khartoum integrates former rebel combatants into Sudanese army

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July 8, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) said it has embarked on the process of integrating 2745 officers and soldiers from the former rebel Justice and Equality Movement led by Bakheit Abdallah Abdel-Karim (Dabajo) (JEM-Dabajo) into the Sudanese army.

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Rebel fighters from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), active in Sudan’s western Darfur region (AFP)

The DRA disclosed that three military camps have been set up in North, South, and West Darfur states, saying JEM-Dabajo’s troops will be accommodated in a temporary camp.

The chairmen of the regional body, Tijani Sissi, in May of last year acknowledged that security arrangement represent a real challenge to the authority. He was alluding to the fact that the Sudanese army and the former rebel group diverged over the number of combatants who can be involved in the process.

The DRA commissioner of security arrangements, Tag Alsir Abde-Rahman, underscored commitment to implement the security arrangement item of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), saying it represent the real doorway for achieving peace, security, and stability in Darfur.

He further renewed keenness of both parties to the DDPD to accelerate implementation of the security arrangements through integrating combatants of the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) and other signatory groups into the Sudanese army.

Abdel-Rahman disclosed that LJM combatants who will be integrated into the Sudanese army include 111 officers and 2634 from other ranks.

The DRA official pointed that his commission’s activities in the previous period were focused on setting up three military camps including Jadid al-Sail in North Darfur state, Domaya in South Darfur state, and the military area in West Darfur state in order to accommodate the integrated battalions.

He said the military camps in West and South Darfur are ready to receive LJM combatants, pointing they will also be accommodated in the camp in North Darfur following completion of the buildings.

Abdel-Rahman also pointed to ongoing work to assess the situation in East Darfur state, saying they will either establish a military camp in the state or transfer the combatants to Domaya camp in South Darfur.

He said they agreed with JEM-Dabago to set up a temporary camp inside Jadid al-Sail in North Darfur in order to start the initial actions including receiving weaponry and vehicles, medical examination, screening, and recruitment.

JEM-Dabago has recently expressed concern over the slow implementation of the agreement signed with the government particularly the security arrangements, saying that what has been implemented of the deal does not exceed 5%.

The DRA council stressed on the need to join efforts of the commission, executive bodies, and DDPD parties to remove all obstacles and allow combatants of all signatory groups to join the camps as soon as possible.

The DDPD was finalised at the All Darfur Stakeholders Conference in May 2011 in Doha. On 14 July of that year the Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) led by al-Sissi signed a protocol agreement committing them to the document.

JEM-Dabajo, known also as JEM Sudan, signed a peace agreement with the Sudanese government on 6 April 2013. The killing of several members of its leadership delayed the implementation of the deal.

(ST)

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