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Darfur Janjaweed leader flies to Egypt despite UNSC travel ban

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July 20, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of the Arab Mahameed clan who has earned notoriety as one of the leaders of Janjaweed militias unleashed by the Sudanese government to crush the insurgency in Darfur has arrived in Egypt, Sudan Tribune has learned.

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Leader of the Mahameed clan and suspected Janjaweed leader Musa Hilal (NYT)

Musa Hilal is subject to a travel ban per the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 1672 adopted in 2006 which also imposed financial sanctions on him along with three other individuals for allegedly obstructing peace in Darfur.

Theoretically, states are required to “take the necessary measures to prevent entry into or transit through their territories of all persons designated by a [UN sanctions] Committee”.

Al-Youm al-Tali newspaper quoting unnamed sources said that authorities at Cairo airport blocked his entry over UNSC sanctions but allowed him in after 3 hours wait following intervention of Sudanese embassy.

The Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson did not answer his phone when contacted by Sudan Tribune.

Hilal stands accused by many human rights groups of leading a terror campaign against the African tribes in Darfur which the United States has unilaterally labeled as genocide. However, a 2004 UN commission of inquiry on Darfur said that while some figures may have committed crimes with genocidal intent, only a court of law can establish that it occurred.

The Darfuri figure has denied any wrongdoing and told Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a videotaped interview in 2005, that he only recruited militias on behalf of Sudan’s central government.

The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when an ethnic minority rose up against the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum, which then was accused of enlisting the Janjaweed militia group to help crush the rebellion.

(ST)

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