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Sudan renews criticisms against JEM rebels

May 27, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan’s presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie renewed his accusations against the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) for their alleged participation in the seizure of the disputed oil-area of Heglig on the north-south border by the South Sudan army (SPLA).

Nafie made his remarks against the rebel group on Saturday at the inauguration of General Mohamed Salah Eddin Abdin Street in Khartoum. The general was killed during the fight against JEM fighters when they attacked the Sudanese capital on 10 May 2008.

The influential official claimed Sudanese troops killed hundreds of JEM combatants when the army counter-attacked to dislodge South Sudanese forces from the oil-producing area of Heglig.

"That was blessing for our hearts after what they did when they attempted to attack Omdurman," he stressed.

JEM participated in the Doha peace process to resolve the Darfur crisis, but the group refused to endorse a framework document when a joint African Union-UN mediation proposed to the rebels groups after two years of talks last year.

The African Union and the United Nations say they are discussing a road map to bring the other rebel groups to join the Doha Document for peace in Darfur (DDPD). However, the ongoing tensions between Khartoum and Juba have complicated these efforts.

UN officials say the road map includes external pressures by countries harbouring Darfur rebel groups.

Sudan has signed security agreements with neighbouring countries and formed joint patrols to monitor the borders with three states: Chad, Central African Republic and Libya.

The international follow-up committee holds a meeting in the Qatari capital on Monday to discuss the implementation of the DDPD. The meeting will dedicate a particular focus to the voluntary return of displaced peoples.

(ST)