Home | News    Wednesday 16 August 2017

Sudan’s VP says Musa Hilal aides were recruiting fighters for Libya’s Haftar

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August 15, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Vice President Hasabo Abdel Rahman Tuesday said the government arrested several aides of Darfur tribal leader Musa Hilal because they were recruiting Darfurians to fight alongside the Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar.

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Former janjaweed leader and tribal chief, Musa Hilal (ST Photo)

On Friday 11 August, the Sudanese government militia of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) arrested seven members of the Revolutionary Awakening Council (RAC) in Darfur headed by the tribal leader, Musa Hilal, near the border with Libya.

However, the RAC group very quickly said the detained militiamen were in Libya for personal purpose.

Haftar who leads an armed group called the ’Libyan National Army’ is accused of recruiting Darfur rebel fighters who organised armed attacks on the government forces last May.

In a meeting with the editors in chiefs of the local media in Khartoum to brief them about his tour in Darfur region to inaugurate a disarmament campaign in the western Sudan, Abdel Rahman accused the notorious militia leader of recruiting one thousand fighters for the Libyan National Army.

"The state will not allow anyone to get out of control," Hasabo said referring to Musa Hilal. He further said the government would use the force to stop him if he continues to cooperate with Haftar.

"If we are forced we will confront Musa Hilal, and we will not leave those who conspire with Haftar," he stressed.

The accusations come as the tribal group of Musa Hilal recently rejected the government call to hand over weapons to the government and a plan to integrate his tribesmen in the Border Guards Forces to the Rapid Support Forces.

Musa Hilal was designated by the US State Department in 2004 as one of the top Janjaweed leaders running a terror campaign against civilians in Darfur. However, the security agencies gradually distanced their activities from the tribal leader who formed the Border Guards Forces.

He was angered by the formation of the Rapid Support Forces because the government promoted one of his tribe members and military aide, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo aka “Hemeti," to command this new militia, a move that he considers as a direct threat to his tribal authority.

Hilal is opposed to the integration of the border guards in the RSF.

The vice president said the issue of arms collection" is a matter of life and death", asserting that the government will not back down from its implementation.

He further said that the proliferation of weapons in Darfur has caused more victims during the tribal conflict than those who fell in the fight against the insurgency.

Also, he said the arrest of tribal leaders of Maalia and Rizeigat was decided for their negative role in the inter-communal conflict and failure to control it. He disclosed that the government gave them "sufficient time to play a positive role in the prevention of sedition".

(ST)

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