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Defector officer returns to North Darfur after nearly three years

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Militia officer Musab al-Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud with two army and poice officers in El Kuma area of North Darfur on July 16, 2016 (ST Photo)

July 17, 2016 ((EL-FASHER) - The governor of North Darfur state Abdel-Wahid Youssef announced on Saturday the return of a Border Guards militia officer Musab al-Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud, who defected in October 2013, with his troops and weapons.

The defected group members were discharged from the service upon their movement to Mellit area during an attack by the rebels in October 2013.

First Lieutenant Mahmoud who defected with his 700 militiamen, is now integrated in the Rabid Support Forces (RSF).

Addressing the RSF in El Kuma area of North Darfur, the governor pledged to put an end to any injustice against the government forces, in accordance with the military disciplines.

The governor has welcomed the return of the first lieutenant Mahmoud, urging everybody to show respect to their leadership and to the body to which they belong.

The commander of the sixth infantry division Major General Ashraf Al-Rifa’ai has meanwhile announced the end of differences with the renegade group, and praised them for their cooperation.

Al-Rifa’ai also appreciated the role of the mediators who managed to solve the crisis, saying that “it is easy to defect, but it is difficult to join peace”.

He further affirmed that Mahmoud has become safe after his return, stating that “we welcome him inside the army”.

“We would like to tell Ziyadia and Berti that Mahmoud is not keener than us to protect you”, he added.

Mahmoud and his soldiers deserted their military unit in South Kordofan and returned to Mallit to protect the tribes of Berti and Ziyadia after rebel attacks on the area.

To punish their bad conduct, the military command ordered the formation of a court-martial. But the lieutenant defected with his troops.

In his speech, Mahmoud extended his apology to the armed forces and the citizens for whatever he did.

“This is a new page and a break with the past. The country cannot afford conflict anymore”, he added.

He announced that the vehicles and the military equipment in their possession are now at the disposal of the military command, and called on the rebels to join peace.

(ST)

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