January 19, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) said it would deploy troops to the western borders with Libya to prevent infiltration of the Islamic State (ISIS) fighters and combat cross-border crimes.
- ISIS fighters in Derna, eastern Libya (Photo Reuters)
A report to the United Nations Security Council released last November mentioned that the ISIS militants are building a, alternative base in Libya, pointing that several leading members of the Jihadist group moved to the north African country.
Since, different western sources officially confirmed the ISIS presence in Libya pointing to the continued political instability and attractive oil crude .
NISS director Mohamed Atta, who addressed the graduation ceremony of more than 1000 troops from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Tuesday, said the new patch would be deployed to the northern desert to prevent infiltration of ISIS fighters through the Libyan border besides combating cross-border crimes.
The RSF militia, which is widely known as the Janjaweed militias, were originally mobilized by the Sudanese government to quell the insurgency that broke out in Sudan’s western region of Darfur in 2003.
The militia was activated and restructured again in August 2013 under the command of NISS to fight rebel groups in Darfur region, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states following joint attacks by Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebels in North and South Kordofan in April 2013.
Atta added the force would also prevent movement of those who he called “Sudanese mercenaries” from Sudan to Libya and vice-versa.
He was alluding to the Darfur rebel movements particularly the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) led by Minni Minnawi which the government accuses of having presence in Libya.
“The mission of this force is difficult, it aims to enhance security and stability in Darfur and to close the desert in the face of the mercenaries and the extremists who seek to enter [Sudanese territory] besides [combating] the organized and cross-border crimes,” he said.
The spy-chief urged the new batch to defeat the rebel movements in the northern desert, saying Sudan wouldn’t serve as a crossing point for ISIS fighters and the extremist groups.
“We wouldn’t allow any organized or cross-border crimes inside the Sudanese territory,” he said
He underscored that Sudan seeks to achieve security and stability in Libya, accusing the rebels of violating the ceasefire in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
“The commitment of the [government] regular forces to the ceasefire doesn’t stem from a position of weakness but it reflects strength, dignity and commitment to the pledges,” he said.
The Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir recently announced the extension of the cessation of hostilities he declared last August for one month in all the areas where the government army and militias are fighting against the rebel groups.
He renewed NISS’s commitment to President Bashir decision to extend the ceasefire, saying the rebels misunderstood Bashir’s call for dialogue and political consensus.
The spy-chief warned the foreign aid groups working in Darfur against interfering in the Darfur referendum, saying they must only focus on the humanitarian work and leave the inhabitants of the region to make their own decision regarding the referendum.
A referendum on Darfur administrative status will be held on 11 April where only the region’s residents will take part in the vote. It is a requirement of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) of July 2011.
Many in Darfur region called to postpone the referendum for different reasons but the Sudanese government said it has to honour the DDPD.
CLASHES IN JEBEL MARRA
Meanwhile, Sudanese army spokesperson Ahmed al-Shami told the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) that the army was reacting to the attacks carried out recently by the rebels in east of Jebel Marra in Central Darfur state.
He stressed the army is committed to the ceasefire, saying last week’s clashes took place in an uninhabited areas around Jebel Marra.
The spokesperson accused the rebels of using the civilian population as human shields, saying the army has secured the area completely.
Intense fighting took place last week between the Sudanese army and the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur in areas west of Jebel Marra in Central Darfur state.
The Sudanese army has been fighting a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003.