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Minnawi denies detention of SLA-MM force commander in Libya

September 6, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), Minni Arko Minnawi Thursday denied reports claiming that the force commander of his group had been detained in Libya by dissident commanders.

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Juma Hagar, SLA-MM force commander (file photo Reuters)

The Sudanese Media Center (SMC) a semi-official organ allegedly close to the Sudanese security and intelligence services reported Wednesday that Jaber Ishaq, SLA-MM commander of operations, and Faisal Saleh, SLA-MM intelligence chief captured the Movement’s force commander Juma Hagar in Libya.

The two splinter commanders are reportedly leading an attempt to remove Minnawi.

The SLA-MM is accused of fighting in eastern Libya alongside the forces of General Khalifa Haftar, but the rebel group denies the claim, stressing that its fighters are in Darfur.

Reached by Sudan Tribune for comment, Minawi said the report is a "fake news" to cover up the recent attack on the Sudanese ambassador to Tripoli by Libyan armed factions claiming he was involved in supporting hostile factions. In addition, they found he is a "broker" with human traffickers in Tripoli, he added.

Minnawi further pointed out that the "fake news" also intended to divert attention as the meetings of the Human Rights Council are approaching in Geneva next week.

Khartoum "is aware that the international public opinion will be focused on (Sudan human rights file) beyond its expectations," he said.

The rebel leader said the Sudanese government know well that Juma Hagar and his men are in Darfur.

"So we do not care about rumours," he said before to conclude "This is a cheap rumour and its purpose is cheaper and reflects the extent of the defeat within the (ruling) National Congress Party."