Source: Radio Dabanga
Displaced people in Darfur and Darfuri refugees have strongly condemned the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed on 10 July between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), and Musa Hilal, the leader of El Sahwa Revolutionary Council.
The displaced demand from the SPLM-N leadership to disengage with Musa Hilal, and offer an official apology to the victims of the Janjaweed leader.
The SPLM-N and El Sahwa Council announced that in the MoU they agreed to end the wars in all parts of Sudan, bring down the totalitarian regime, and establish a democratic system in the country.
Musa Hilal is widely known as the top Janjaweed leader, who is held responsible for the atrocities committed in Darfur against civilians after the conflict erupted in 2003. In that year, he was released from prison by the Sudanese government with the purpose to mobilise Darfuri Arab herders to fight the insurgency in the region.
With full government backing, Hilal’s Janjaweed targeted unarmed villagers and torched villages of African Darfuris. They rarely came near forces of the armed rebel movements. In 2008, he was appointed as Presidential Assistant for Federal Affairs. In January 2014, he announced his defection from the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), and launched a new movement, El Sahwa Revolutionary Council.
Hussein Abu Sharati, the chairman of the Association of the Darfur Displaced and Refugees, stated to Radio Dabanga that “we, the Darfur displaced and refugees, affirm that Musa Hilal, Ali Kusheib, Ahmed Haroun, and Jaafar Abdel Hakam have practiced genocide in Darfur, and later in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile, with the support of Hilal’s deputy, Mohamed Hamdan (Hemeti).
Full government support
Abu Sharati said that Hilal formally still enjoys the position of Presidential Assistant for Federal Affairs. “He is still a member of the NCP, and a Member of the Parliament. He enjoys a monthly salary, and does not oppose the Sudanese government in any way.”
“Since his return to Darfur, instead of targeting the Sudan Armed Forces, Hilal’s militia attacked civilians in North Darfur, East Jebel Marra, and the rebel movements,” Abu Sharati said. “Who believes that the NCP is trying to topple the NCP?”
Omda Ahmed Ateem, coordinator of the North Darfur camps for the displaced, confirmed that the displaced in North Darfur have strongly rejected the MoU between the two opposite parties. “We all are victims of Musa Hilal’s crimes since 2003. His militias have driven hundreds of thousands villagers from their homes. If the SPLM-N chooses to forget about these atrocities, we will not and cannot forget.”
According to Ateem, Hilal still receives full support from the government. The Omda pointed out that all the vehicles and weapons the Janjaweed leader makes use of are given to him by the government. “His real intention is to eliminate the case of Darfur and all the rebel movements.”
“The MoU of course shocked all the displaced in Darfur. In this way, the SPLM-N is losing the confidence of the marginalised. The movement will eliminate itself if their leaders do not withdraw the MoU, and apologise to the people of Darfur, Musa Hilal’s victims.”
Ali Mohamed Ali Abdel Rahman, commonly known as Ali Kusheib, is a senior Janjaweed commander. In February 2007, he and Ahmed Haroun were charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) with crimes against civilians in 2003-2004. An arrest warrant for both of them was issued in April that year.
Ahmed Haroun, the current Governor of North Kordofan, served as Minister of State for Interior Affairs from 2003 to 2005. Also being responsible for the Darfur Security Desk, he allegedly recruited, funded and armed the Janjaweed militias. Jaafar Abdel Hakam, former Governor of West Darfur, is currently Governor of Central Darfur. Displaced accuse him of selling their villages and lands to “new settlers” from neighbouring Chad, Central African Republic, and Mali.
Hilal, not indicted by the ICC, is subject to travel and financial sanctions, imposed by the UN Security Council in 2006.