The Darfur-based Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said its leader, Khalil Ibrahim, was prevented from entering Chad and kept on an airplane for at least 12 hours before Libya came to his rescue.
Ahmed Hussein Adam, JEM’s spokesman, told VOA the group is disappointed with the way their leader was treated.
The United Nations and African Union (UN/AU) chief mediator is mandated to facilitate the return of the JEM leader to Sudan as stipulated in a recent peace accord signed between the group and President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir’s government.
“Dr. Khalil consulted with the leadership of JEM and finally he accepted the offer of the Libyans on the condition that from there (Tripoli) he will go to Darfur and he will go to Sudan. That action did not remove the responsibility of Djibril Bassole, the chief mediator. Because, still now, we want Djibril Bassole to take that responsibility and to facilitate the arrival or the departure of Dr. Khalil from Tripoli to Darfur,” he said.
Officials in Chad stopped JEM’s leader in the capital, Ndjamena and prevented him from using the airport as a transit point on his return trip to Sudan.
The Darfur-based rebel group said Chadian authorities destroyed travel documents belonging to its leader, as well as that of his entourage, and ordered him to return to Libya’s capital, Tripoli.
A Darfur rebel
Previously, Chad and Sudan accused each other of supporting the other side’s armed groups.
But, President Bashir’s government praised Chad’s refusal to allow JEM‘s leader of using its country as a transit point.
In a statement, Khartoum said President Idriss Deby demonstrated commitment towards a recently-signed agreement between Khartoum and Ndjamena after years of accusations and suspicions.
Earlier this year, both countries pledged to deny support for each other’s rebels and to monitor their borders - - a move hailed by many analysts as a boost for peace prospects in Darfur.
But, JEM spokesman Adam said Chadian officials acted reprehensibly to please Sudan’s government. He described the airport incident as a scheme.
“The whole thing is a conspiracy because actually the Qataris, Mr. Bassole the mediator, as well as the Chadians, they want to liquidate the cause of Darfur,” Adam said.
The Justice and Equality Movement recently abandoned further peace talks with President Bashir’s government after accusing Khartoum of attacking its positions.