Sudan: Janjaweed militias give government deadline to implement agreements

sudan-darfur-problemThe upcoming Sudanese general elections scheduled for April could be disrupted after the Sudanese Revolutionary Awakening Council (SRAC) led by the Darfurian Arab Mahameed clan chief, Musa Hilal, gave the government a March 10 deadline to implement the agreements they have reached regarding the Darfur conflict. The spokesperson of SRAC, Ahmed Mohamed Abakar, pointed out that failure to implement last year’s Um Jaras conference agreement and the one reached in Western Darfur before the deadline will oblige the group to boycott the elections and the safety of members of the electoral committees cannot be guaranteed.

The Darfur Conflict which started in 2003 still remains unsolved. Although violence seems to be contained, tensions could soon spread as the leader of SRAC continues to put pressure on the government for Governor Osman Kibir of North Darfur to be changed under accusations that he encourages clashes between his tribe and several African ethic groups in the state.

SRAC forcefully took over the western part of North Darfur from government and allied militias in 2014 after the government failed to heed to its calls which started in 2013. SRAC was part of the groups that helped the pro-Arab dominated government in Khartoum to squash what was officially described as a rebellion when an ethnic minority challenged the government.

Musa Hilal, leader of SRAC, is considered as one of tribal chiefs that led the Janjaweed militias during the massacre in Darfur but he denies any wrongdoing as he stressed that his role was only limited to recruiting militias on behalf of Sudan’s central government.

When tensions died down, Hial was appointed by President Omar al-Bashir as a special advisor for the Ministry of Federal Affairs in 2008 but he returned to Darfur in mid-2013.