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EXCLUSIVE: JEM Leader says he has arrived in Darfur


September 11, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of Darfur rebel group the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Khalil Ibrahim, told Sudan Tribune on Sunday that he has returned to Darfur.

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FILE - Khalil Ibrahim, leader of the JEM, gestures during a meeting with General Martin Luther Agwai, force commander of the African Union Mission in the Sudan Oct 17, 2007

Speaking from a satellite phone, Ibrahim told Sudan Tribune "I have arrived safely in Darfur and I am with my forces".

The rebel leader has been stuck in Libya since mid-2010 after Chadian authorities refused him entry.

Chad has been a hub for JEM fighters and political officers through which they used to access their bases inside Darfur. However, a thaw in relations between Sudan and its western neighbor created the unexpected situation for JEM.

The Libyan government agreed to receive the rebel leader despite pleas by Khartoum to expel him.

Following the unrest that broke out in Libya earlier this year, JEM expressed concern over the safety of its leader particularly as NATO started a bombing campaign throughout Libya to enforce a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) mandated no-fly zone.

To make matters worst, the Sudanese government claimed that Darfur rebels were fighting alongside the forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi thus alienating JEM from the Libyan opposition.

The activities and movements of Ibrahim were already restricted by Libyan authorities but his exact whereabouts were unknown.

The JEM chief said his troops secured the trip through the Sub-Saharan desert and supplied him with water and food.

“We were in race with the Sudanese intelligence who were seeking to catch us in Libya”, he said.

He hailed the three revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya saying: "We congratulate the peoples of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya for the success of their revolutions. JEM has always been with the choice of the people”.

The rebel leader also sent a positive message towards Chad saying that JEM is keen on having good relations with Ndjamena because they "supported the Darfur people during the difficult year of war and hosted them”.

He further said that the Chadian president Idriss Deby can play a "crucial role" to reach a just and lasting peace in Darfur emphasising: "We are ready to cooperate with him".

This week Agence France Presse (AFP) reported that Chad mobilised troops and jet fighters to support Sudan in its war against JEM rebels after reports that they successfully infiltrated into Darfur from Libya.

Ibrahim also welcomed the independence of South Sudan and said he was disposed to cooperate with the South Sudan government in the interest of the two peoples of Sudan in the North and the South.

He also urged the unity of the opposition forces saying it was crucial to achieve political change in Sudan.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 11 September 2011 12:15, by Bush

    Welcome back and resume your duty as well as join your brothers in South Kordofan and Blue Nile who are also fighting for their rights and freedom.

    Wish you victory in your struggle for freedom.

    repondre message

    • 11 September 2011 13:28, by pabaak

      Welcome back Khalil you will now join hands with other marginalize forces to get rid of the regime in Khartoum, now you learned the mistake to associate yourselves with Chadian president who switch like chameleon, who one time was opposed to our independent but latter changed and attend our independent celebrations, Khalil is a cable leader despite his past link to NIF, there is saying that " the enemy of your enemy is your friend".

      repondre message

  • 11 September 2011 13:55, by Adam

    Now all the people of Sudan, especially South Sudan should be worried. The scenario will be as follows:

    1> RoSS and the West will sponsor a war on the regime in Khartoum
    2> Khartoum will be busy at different fronts and will use all possible tactics to defend its presence.
    3> Rebels in the RoSS will be fully sponsored
    4> Fighting will erupt everywhere. Death, hunger will be dominant in all old Sudan
    5> More economic sanctions will be placed on the RoSS by al-Bashir regime, who will find sympathy from the people, especially if the political parties in Sudan failed to stand with the government
    6> Religion will be used by both Sudans to get foreign help
    7> al-Gaieda will be free to fight with Sudan
    8> Oil fields and pipelines will be attacked and set to fire
    9> Many poor and innocent Sudanese will die and suffer
    10> Development (if any) will be stopped for generations to come.
    11> Unrest and uprising will take place in the 2 Sudans. Political tyranny and assassination will be the headlines
    12> Tribal and regional wars will gain momentum
    13> Refugees and displaced people will be the headache of the international community.
    14> Africans will provide a continuous and more entertaining subject for the international media

    But there is another scenario:

    1> GoSS sincerely stop interfering with Sudan’s affairs and Darfur rebels expelled
    2> SAF will deal with Khalil, al-Hilu and Agar successfully
    3> Good relationships will develop between the two Sudans.
    4> Economic ties will get stronger as time passes.
    5> Both RoSS and RoS will be able to launch development

    Which scenario will take place needs a magician to know.

    Adam Milawaki, Kamsas

    repondre message

    • 11 September 2011 14:04, by DeltaBravo

      TO Adam

      You will beg them soon in Khartoum don’t worry about ROSS.

      repondre message

      • 11 September 2011 15:47, by Force 1

        Adam. the scenerio you describe is not new to us, we’ve lived it for over 25 years of SPLM/A struggle.

        You’re the ones who will be worried because you haven’t experience it ever in your life.

        Bring it on! and make sure you’re here in Sudan, not somewhere else!

        repondre message

    • 11 September 2011 15:17, by Bush


      Those are the thoughts of evil, wicked, hopeless and terrorist. You are an idiot, simply.

      repondre message

    • 11 September 2011 15:40, by pabaak

      Adam, you could have also explained what scenarios you choose, it was better to explained more so we know scenarios you favor, whatever scenarios, nothing will stop us from doing our affairs,whether a sanction from Khartoum, which I don’t even know what type of sanction they are capable of, they already have sanction from international community. whatever decisions they may make is none of our concern, what we know regime in Khartoum is harboring rebels to use them as proxy war tools against us and we know what should be the answer for it.

      repondre message

    • 12 September 2011 18:35, by Wen De David Kuol

      South Sudan had no problem with Northern Sudan internal affairs. Sudan is unable to control her own internal Affairsa that is why there is massive international intereference in Sudan-North including freedom of the SPLM -North.

      Both Democratic Groups must form an alliance in Sudan-North, involve Isreal to deals with them agressively due to Weapons smuggling to ISREAL by Hamas Terrorist Wings of NCP.

      Khalil must be Welcome with open arms by all Darfurian, He had been fighting for the sake of Marginalisation of Darfur.

      South SUdan had nothing to fear or worried on scanarios.

      We are Free at Last.

      repondre message

  • 11 September 2011 14:02, by silk Kottora

    The arrival of the leader Dr.Khalil Ibrahim, the leader of the marginalized accross Sudan, safely to Darfur-Sudan, is very happy news for all the Sudanese. International, regional and local forces conspired to put Dr.Khalil under arrest in libya. we have been parying all the time for his freedom and God looked positively to our prayers.
    congratulations to the people of Sudan in general and those of Darfur in particular for the safe return of their son, brother and leader.Victory is around the corner.
    Silk Bin Kottoraa,
    Khartoum, Sudan

    repondre message

  • 11 September 2011 20:14, by al Qaieda

    welcome home Dr. Khalil, Allah have guide you through and this is the time to liberate the ass holes of darfur. joint al Nur,
    Al hilu, Malik and Yasir Arman to topple the monster and chase him out of sudan.

    al qaeda

    repondre message

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