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Sudan Rebel Group Denies Role in Libya Anti-Protest Violence

  • Peter Clottey

Libyan protesters hold signs and shout slogans against Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi during a demonstration, in Tobruk, February 23, 2011

Libyan protesters hold signs and shout slogans against Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi during a demonstration, in Tobruk, February 23, 2011

The spokesman for the Darfur-based Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has denied accusations that members of his group are acting as mercenaries for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to suppress anti-government protesters.

Ahmed Hussein Adam described the accusation as malicious and a calculated attempt by the Khartoum government to, in his words, create anger among Libyan anti-government protesters to attack and eliminate “Darfuris” in Libya.

“It’s not surprising to me that the Sudan Foreign Ministry is making these allegations because the head of that ministry is a militia leader. JEM absolutely has no single military element in Libya. The violence is something internal in Libya and JEM has nothing to do with it. All of our forces and our comrades are inside this country, Sudan,” said Adam.

A 2009 file photo of Sudanese rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) leader Khalil Ibrahim during a Darfur peace meeting in Doha, Qatar. He is currently living in Libya's capital, Tripoli.

A 2009 file photo of Sudanese rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) leader Khalil Ibrahim during a Darfur peace meeting in Doha, Qatar. He is currently living in Libya's capital, Tripoli.

“This accusation is baseless and this is the regime in Khartoum which is irresponsible because it is a racist regime and they are jeopardizing the lives of more than 2 million Sudanese, the majority of them Darfuris, in Libya. This is unacceptable.”

Adam also called on the international community to, in his words, put pressure on President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s government to stop the baseless accusation against Sudanese that will put many people’s lives in danger in Libya.

Khalid Musa, spokesman for Sudan’s Foreign Ministry accused JEM rebels of being involved in the Libyan violence. He also said his ministry has proof that Darfur rebels are involved.

But, Adam said the accusation is a disguised racial attack against non-Arab Sudanese.

“JEM has a noble cause actually and it is not for doing a dirty job for the Libyan leader. This is absolutely not true at all and I challenge them to provide a single evidence. Even the Libyan opposition didn’t claim that but, because this is a genocidal regime in Khartoum, that is why they are claiming that we (are) involved in this Libyan violence,” said Adam.

“Today, all the Sudanese on the Internet are condemning this kind of allegation by the regime in Khartoum and they are actually holding the regime (responsible) for this. Through VOA, I want to say, whatever bad happens to Sudanese in Libya, the regime in Khartoum is going to be responsible for that.”

Some analysts have accused Gadhafi of financially supporting the Darfur-based rebel group, which has been battling the Sudanese national army.

Meanwhile, JEM’s leader Khalil Ibrahim is reportedly still in Libya after he was barred from entering Chad while attempting to return to Sudan from Libya.

“If Dr. Khalil is there, he is there not on his own willingness because he is supposed to be in Darfur, but because they stopped him in Chad and that is why he is in Tripoli; and he is there actually with the knowledge of all the international community,” said Adam.

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