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Sudan’s JEM denies taking part in inter Libyan clashes

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April 5, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rejected claims about the participation of its fighters in fresh clashes in the south-western town of Sabha, 640 km south of Tripoli.

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Rebel fighters from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), active in Sudan’s western Darfur region (AFP)

The semi-official Sudanese Media Center said two days ago that JEM fighters were blocking the road between Sabha and the southern parts of Libya.

The claim came following reports about clashes in Sabha near a military camp of 6th Brigade of the Libyan National Army of Gen Khalif Haftar involving unidentified armed groups.

"JEM categorically denies any presence in Sabha or any part of Libya. Since JEM is not there it cannot block roads," reads a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Thursday.

"The Conflict in Libya is an internal affair of the Libyans and JEM is not and will not be party to it," further stressed Gibreel Adam Bilal the group’s spokesperson.

Different UN reports point to the participation of Chadian and Sudanese armed groups, among others, in the inter-factional fighting in troubled Libya.

However, the Sudanese authorities recently issued several statements about the alleged presence of JEM in Libya.

Last March, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia said they arrested a rebel commander, Suleiman Marjan, in North Darfur while he was recruiting combatants to fight along Haftar forces.

"Some parties to the conflict in Libya kept erroneously and irresponsibly accusing JEM with interference in their internal affairs without doing a minimum due diligence to know who is who. The mainstream JEM led by Dr Gibril Ibrahim has nothing to do with the internal fighting between Libyan factions," emphasized the rebel group.

The Anadolu Agency said Sabah clashes erupted Awlad Suleiman tribe forces which are part of Haftar army and based in Sabha military camp and the Tabu tribe another rival tribe.

Other reports, however, suggest the clashes sparked between the Libyan army and "foreign" forces, including armed groups from neighbouring Chad.

(ST)

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