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Musa Hilal denies accepting local mediation over weapons collection

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September 14, 2017 (EL-FASHIR) - The Sudanese Revolutionary Awakening Council (SRAC), headed by tribal leader Musa Hilal, denied reports about an agreement reached with Khartoum over the issue of weapons collection from its Border Guards Forces (BGF).

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir (L) talks to tribal leader Musa Hilal during the wedding ceremony between Hilal’s daughter and Chadisn president Idriss Deby in Khartoum on 20 January 2012 (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

"There is no agreement with the Presidency, and all that is rumoured is a mere fabrication," SRAC spokesperson Haroun Medikheir told Sudan Tribune on Thursday.

Medikheir was reacting to press reports saying that Hilal accepted an initiative launched by Mohamed Hamed al-Ja’ali, a local leader of a Sufi sect in Darfur to settle the difference between him and the Sudanese government over the weapons collection campaign.

Hilal rejects to hand over his arms and to merge the BGF with the Rapid Support Forces, a government militia attached to the Sudanese army and led by one of his former aides.

Medikheir acknowledged that al-Ja’ali had a telephone conversation with Hilal over the need to seek a peaceful settlement of the problem. Also, he disclosed that several other tribal leaders in the region reached him to and called for a negotiated solution.

However, "the President did not ask to meet Sheikh Musa Hilal. We hear about such claim from the media but there is no official notification of the Council," he further stressed.

Medikheir said al-Ja’ali is a respected figure and he has a strong personal relationship with Hilal but underscored that this is a big issue and its settlement is not as simple as people expect.

"We respect him (al-Ja’ali). He is a friend of Sheikh Musa Hilal who in principle accepted (his initiative), but we must know the shape of the (proposed) solution," he further said.

He added it is a national issue that requires a national solution and they are now preparing themselves but they don’t consider a reconciliation.

Sheik Hilal was with them in Khartoum in the past. So, why they (the government) send him people," he wondered suggesting that the government should negotiate with him directly.

While many believe that Hilal with his BGF is the coming threat for the government of the Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir, other say the tribal leader seeks to preserve his local influence and tribal power.

(ST)

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