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Darfur Rebels Threaten to Disrupt Bashir Visit

A JEM fighter escorts AU Force Commander General Martin Luther Agwai (third from left) and JEM's Khalil Ibrahim (second from left), in Darfur, October 2007. (AP)
One of the main rebel groups in Darfur has threatened to disrupt a visit scheduled for this week by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, and claims it has seized control of a village in Northern Kordofan after weekend battles with the Sudan Armed Forces.

"Ten years (after the genocide in Darfur) Bashir is coming here on March 7 to stand in the same place that he committed crimes against humanity," Jibril Adam Bilal, spokesman for the Justice and Equality Movement, said.

"You can't let Bashir and his people, his militias visit the victims' areas" in Darfur, he said, threatening to disrupt the visit.

Jibril also said that JEM won control of a village in North Kordofan, and captured 11 Sudanese soldiers and more than two dozen vehicles after clashes with the Sudan Armed Forces over the weekend.

Sudan has denied that it was routed in fighting by the Darfur rebel groups.

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    John Tanza

    John Tanza works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is the managing editor and host of the  South Sudan In Focus radio program.
    Before joining VOA, John worked in Nairobi, Kenya where he established the first independent radio station (Sudan Radio Service) for the people of Sudan. He has covered several civil wars both in Sudan and South Sudan and has been engaged in the production of civic education materials for creating awareness about post conflict issues facing Sudanese and South Sudanese. John has interviewed South Sudan President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar, Vice President Wani Igga, leader of Sudan’s Umma Party Sadiq Al Mahdi in addition to other senior United Nations and U.S government officials in South Sudan and Washington. His travels have taken him across to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Egypt, Ethiopia, Syria, DRC Congo and parts East Africa where he reported on the South Sudanese diaspora and the challenges facing them.
    A South Sudanese national, John enjoys listening to music from all over the world, reads academic books, watches documentaries and listens to various radio stations on the internet.  You can follow John on Twitter at @Abusukon