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Darfur group urged to speed up transfer of POWs to Khartoum

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September 11, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The former rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM-Dabago), a breakaway group from JEM, has called on the latter to speed up the transfer of Prisoners of War (POWs) through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

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Undated picture extended to Sudan Tribune on 28 April 2015 by the Justice and Equality Movement showing their fighters during a training exercise

On Wednesday, JEM announced the release of all detainees POWs from government forces in response to appeals from religious leaders, civil society organizations and prestigious national figures.

JEM-Dabago spokesperson Ahmed Abdel-Mageed on Sunday told Sudan Tribune that they are waiting for the JEM to inform the ICRC on the location of the POWs so that it could embark on the transfer procedures.

He asked the JEM not to procrastinate on the release of the POWs so as not to abort the initiative especially since some of them are suffering from critical health conditions.

Abdel-Mageed said that the leader of JEM, Gibril Ibrahim, pointed out that he would also release POWs from JEM-Dabago who have been detained in May 2013.

JEM-Bashar, a breakaway group from JEM, inked a peace agreement negotiated with the Sudanese government on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) in the Qatari capital in 2013.

Following that, JEM killed the leader of JEM-Bashar, Mohamed Bashar, and his deputy Suleiman Arko, and detained more than 20 others in an attack near the Chadian border while they were returning to Khartoum.

JEM-Bashar subsequently appointed Bakheit Abdallah Dabago as Bashar’s successor.

Abdel-Mageed added that nine detainees from JEM-Dabago are still detained by JEM after 9 others managed to flee from the movement’s prisons in South Sudan, pointing that JEM released one of their prisoners, Ahmed Ismail Obeid in early 2015 after he lost his sight.

He praised the role of the regional and Arab rights groups, media, political parties, Sufi orders, civil society organizations, and the native administration who raised awareness about the POWs conditions and rights.

JEM-Dabago political advisor Nahar Osman Nahar, had earlier told Sudan Tribune that more than 100 POWs and detainees are currently being held in JEM’s prisons including former members of the executive office and commanders from the movement such as Hashim Haroun besides other civilian detainees.

(ST)

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