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Sudan accuses unnamed groups of using Darfur rebels in Libyan conflict

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February 11, 2016 (KHARTOUM) -Sudan foreign ministry reiterated claims that Darfur rebel groups are involved in the Libyan conflict and pointed accusing fingers to unnamed groups saying they support them to achieve personal interests and ambitions.

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Fighters from the Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militia hold their positions during clashes with forces loyal to Libya’s internationally recognised government near the Wetia military air base, west of the capital Tripoli, on 29 December 2014 (Photo: AFP/Mahmud Turkia)

"Sudanese Foreign Ministry condemns in the strongest terms the attacks on the Kufra city by the so-called Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM)," said the ministry’s spokesperson Ali al-Sadiq in a statement released on Thursday.

Al-Sadiq further condemned "those who stand behind these groups and provide them with with money and weapons to threaten peace and security (in Sudan) and to serve (their) interests and personal ambitions".

Sudanese army and Libyan officials said over 30 Sudanese SLM fighters were killed during clashes on Thursday 4 February and Saturday 6 February in Kufra in the far southern part of the troubled north African country and accused Darfurian rebels of robberies and attacks on civilians in the region.

Kufra, which is near the Sudanese border, is controlled by armed groups loyal to the Sudan’s supported Libyan government in Tripoli.

Ambassador al-Sadiq said the Libyan people are well aware of the situation in the light of the recent developments in the Libyan army.

"Circles well known by the Libyan people has involved these groups in the fighting in Kufra," he further stressed.

The Sudanese diplomat alluded to the current divisions in the Libyan army as some military commanders split from the army and openly accused Haftar of corruption and said he plans to take the power.

In August 2015, Sudanese army summoned the Libyan military attaché to protest the "participation of SLM-Minni Minnawi fighters in the Libyan conflict alongside the forces of the internationally backed government led by General Khalifa Haftar.

The then military spokesperson, Colonel al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad, said the use of Sudanese rebels in the Libyan conflict poses a real threat to Sudan’s national security particularly in Darfur.

Reacting to the statements of the foreign ministry, JEM spokesperson Gibril Adam Bilal denied the accusations of the Sudanese government, saying they have no any presence in Libya.

In statements to Sudan Tribune on Thursday, he also accused the Sudanese government of instigating hatred against Darfurians in Libya saying such statements caused attacks on Darfurians in the past.

"We in the Justice and Equality Movement disapprove this statement and the resulting consequences. We affirm that we have no presence around Kufra at all," he said.

Last week, SLM leader Minni Minnawi described the reports as "lies" fabricated by the regime of President Omer al-Bashir to cover its crimes in Libya.

"Khartoum is offering support for terrorist groups in Libya, and incites the Libyan people against the Sudanese community in Libya. (The Sudanese regime) is sponsoring terrorism in the whole of Africa and any African groups fighting in Libya is a creature of Khartoum. They have been trained and equipped by the regime in Khartoum," Minnawi told Sudan Tribune.

But al-Sadiq denied what Minnawi said, reaffirming that Sudan supports security and stability in Libya and expressed his government readiness to deploy joint patrols from Chad, Libya and Sudan along the border to prevent cross border attacks by rebel groups and to protect border.

(ST)

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