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Darfur tribal leader hostile to merge Border Guards militia with Sudan’s RSF

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RSF commander Hametti greets his fighters in Wadi Hawar, North Darfur after defeating assailant rebels on 23 May 2017 (ST Photo)
July 21, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The spokesperson of a Darfur tribal leader Friday has voiced his opposition to a reform aiming to restructure the different government militias groups considering it as an attempt to merge them with the famous Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Defence Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf last Wednesday announced a plan to reorganise the "forces supportive" of the Sudanese army. The step means to implement the recommendations of the national dialogue providing to integrate all the militias to the Sudanese army.

Ibn Auf intended to reassure the militias forces saying this integration aims to develop these forces and enable them to better contribute to secure the borders of the country and enhancing stability.

However, Haroun Medeikhir, a spokesman for the Arab tribal leader Musa Hilal, said the decision was an attempt to sell the border guards to the Rapid Support Forces led by Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, (aka Hametti).

The reorganisation and training of these forces is an "old decision" but has not been announced, Medeikhir said in statements to Sudan Tribune. He further considered any attempt to merge the "border guards" with RSF will be "an ill considered and unsuccessful decision."

"They tried to dismantle the border guards by integrating them into the intelligence and ground forces, then they were transferred to the battalions regime and now they are trying to dismantle the battalions and integrate them into the Rapid Support Forces," said the spokesperson of the tribal leader.

The former leader of the notorious Janjaweed militiamen Musa Hilal has been hostile to the RSF leader Hametti who was one of his lieutenants and tribal followers before to be the appointed commander of the RSF which is now part of the Sudanese army.

Hilal fears that Hametti contests his tribal leadership as leader of Al-Mahameed tribe, a branch of the Rizeigat ethnic group.

The border guards include some 3,000 militiamen from Al-Mahameed.
Medeikhir said the tribal leader has not been consulted on the merger of the Border Guards and he keeps silent until now. He added that the idea is rejected in the region except in West Darfur State.

(ST)

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