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Darfur rebels are only at the top of Jebel Marra : RSF say

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February 4, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) said that Darfur region is free of armed rebel groups, except a small group of militants belonging of the Sudan Liberation Movement- Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW) based on the top of Jebel Marra mountainous area.

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Fighters from the Rapid Support Forces sit in an armed vehicle in Nyala, south Darfur, displaying weapons they say they captured from the Justice and Equality Movement rebels on May 13, 2015 (AFP Photo/Ashraf Shazly)

Sudanese government forces including the regular forces and the RSF militia waged war on the SLM-AW positions in Jabel Marra during the first part of 2016.

But, the government stopped its attacks and allowed humanitarian access to the conflict affected areas in Darfur within the framework of a five-track engagement with the American administration to lift sanctions and normalize bilateral relations.

"Thanks to the efforts and deployment of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Darfur has become completely free of the armed movements, outlaws and suspects, except a few of them at the top of Jebel Marra," said Adam Saleh, RSF spokesperson .

"Reaching the peak of Jebel Marra has becoming easy for the RSF after securing eastern Jebel Marra areas Fanga, Durban and Golo," Saleh further said.

"All the roads are open to the top of jebel Marra," he stressed.

In April 2016, the government declared that Darfur was free of rebels but later on admitted their limited in the Jebel Marr area and resumed air raids on the western part of Jebel Marra before to stop it, after the deal with Washington.

Also in July of the past year, Khartoum warned the other armed groups based outside Darfur region from any attempt to use the unilateral truce to reintroduce armed groups in the region.

According to the UN agencies, over 160,000 civilians have been displaced from the Jebel Marra area in Darfur since mid-January after the resumption of the fighting between Sudanese government forces SLM-AW fighters.

SLM-AW is not part of a six-month unilateral cessation of hostilities declared by the armed groups of the Sudanese revolutionary Movement - Gibril Ibrahim. Also, the rebel group refuses to join the African Union brokered peace process to end the conflict in the western Sudan region.

The spokesperson of the militia force said their forces are now deployed on the western, northern and southern border to deal with the negative effects of the rebel groups pointing to the human trafficking; gold and arms trafficking.

The government accuse the rebel groups of destabilising regional stability, but the armed groups also accuse the government forces particularly the SRF militiamen of involvement in the illegal immigration and trafficking of contraband weapons.

Last December, the government within its policy to prepare for the establishment of a transitional government after the internal national dialogue process, integrated the SRF into the Sudanese army. Previously it was part of the National Intelligence and Security Services.

(ST)

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