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SPLM-N warns EU and US against funding Sudan’s militia

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September 2, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) has warned against a coordinated plan between Sudan and Europe to grant the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia an international recognition as a leading force in the fight against illegal migration, human trafficking and terrorism on the Sudanese border.

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RSF troops in camouflage and draped with ammunition show off the spoils from a major clash with the rebel (JEM), in Nyala 13 May 2015 (Photo AFP/Ashraf Shazly)

The RSF, 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 reactivated and restructured again in August 2013 under the command of NISS to fight the alliance of rebel groups from Darfur region, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states following joint attacks in North and South Kordofan in April 2013.

Last June, hundreds of RSF elements have been deployed in the remote desert of the Northern State shortly after complaint by the governor of drug and human trafficking by the criminal networks.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Friday, SPLM-N secretary general Yasser Arman said they received accurate information about a plan to fund the RSF from the European Union (EU) money and particularly from Germany besides providing it with logistical support from Italy.

He stressed the plan began to be implemented since three months ago, saying it allows the RSF protect the border under the pretext of combating illegal migration to Europe besides stopping human trafficking and fighting against terrorism.

“The plan aims to link these forces [RSF] with Europe’s interests and to stop [illegal] migration and with (Khartoum Operation) project to stop human trafficking. [it seeks] to confer these forces with an international character to cover up genocide and the killings [campaigns] it carried out against Sudanese civilians with an European and international cover,” he said.

Last May, Sudan organized the “Khartoum Operation” meeting to combat human trafficking with the participation of 65 persons representing European and African countries besides several United Nations agencies and organizations operating in the field of migration and refugees.

Arman described the Khartoum Operation as the “Satanic Plan”, saying its implementation has gone along way particularly with regard to marketing it via media outlets.

He pointed to the recent press conference held by the RSF Commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, (aka Hametti) in which he said that his forces lost about 150 vehicles in patrolling Sudan’s border with Egypt and Libya.

The rebel leader pointed that European money would be used to fund the purchase of military equipments and vehicles to compensate for the loss of the RSF, stressing these equipments and vehicles will be used by the regime in the domestic wars.

On Friday, Daglo said that Sudan is fighting illegal migration on behalf of Europe, noting the latter should appreciate Khartoum’s efforts.

Arman said the RSF is now expecting to receive American support after it guaranteed European funding, pointing the militia began to speak about playing a role in the fight against terrorism.

“We are sure that the European and American public opinion and its institutions would realize this criminal scheme,” he said.

He called on the EU to pay attention to this scheme and stop funding and dealing with these forces, describing funding of these forces as “direct support to genocide in Sudan”.

The rebel leader said the SPLM-N has instructed its offices in Europe and the United States to officially and urgently raise this issue to the European and the UK Parliaments and the US Congress.

He also demanded the International Criminal Court (ICC) to consider this issue as part of the war crimes in Sudan, pointing the RSF has committed crimes against Sudanese and foreign nationals on the border with Egypt and Libya.

“We also ask all Sudanese people and activists inside the country and abroad to take this issue seriously [because] it is considered part of the war crimes and genocide” he said.

Earlier this year, the EU granted a €100m development package to address the root causes of irregular migration in Sudan. The financial support came after pledge by the Sudanese government to cooperate with Brussels to stop human trafficking to Europe.

Also, in June 2014 the US Department of State hailed Sudan’s efforts in containing and fighting against human trafficking.

(ST)

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