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Sudan’s RSF arrests seven members of Hilal tribal group: reports

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August 11, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Seven members of the Revolutionary Awakening Council (RAC) in Darfur headed by the tribal leader, Musa Hilal, have been reportedly arrested by the Sudanese government militia of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) near the border with Libya on Friday.

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Musa Hilal upon his return to Khartoum (Facebook page)

Haroun Medeikhir, RAC spokesperson, confirmed to Sudan Tribune the loss of contacts with the seven-member group, including the Council leading member Omer Saga and one of the bodyguards of Musa Hilal, Mohamed Alroko.

"So far we have not been officially informed of the arrest of this group," he said, adding they were aware of their travel to Libya for personal purpose and not on an official mission as it was rumoured in the social media.

The arrest, if confirmed, comes after statements by the government senior officials that the disarmament campaign in Darfur will include all the region’s components including the tribal forces.

Also, Hilal who fought against the rebel groups during the bloody counterinsurgency campaign in 2004-2006 is now seen as a troublemaker, obstructing the government efforts to pacify the region.

The RAC last July said opposed to the government decision to integrate the Border Guards Forces (BGF), a militia that mainly comprising Hilal tribesmen, into the Sudanese army. The tribal group saw this decision as an attempt to weaken their tribal leader.

The Sudanese government restricts the movements of Sudanese towards Libya particularly that eastern part near the joint border which is controlled by General Khalifa Haftar. the latter is accused of supporting Darfur rebel groups.

In a related development, Medeikhir announced that the traditional leaders will meet on Saturday in Misteriya area in North Darfur to discuss the government decision to collect arms from the tribal groups.

(ST)

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