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Sudan releases 20 partisans of Darfur tribal leader Musa Hilal

June 12, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government has released 20 members of Border Guards Forces (BGF) headed by the tribal leader Musa Hilal who is under arrest since November 2017.

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Musa Hilal BGF leader (ST photo)

On 27 November, Sudanese government forces arrested Hilal and members of his militia after the killing of a high ranking officer of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Mistiriyha, the home area of Musa Hilal.

Before his detention, Sudanese officials asked him to hand over the weapons of his militiamen but he refused. Also, he rejected an offer to merge the BGF with the RSF.

According to Darfur 24 website, the security apparatus released 20 people arrested with Hilal in November but still, there are over 200 others detained awaiting the end of investigations.

The tribal leader was accused of seeking to get the support of the Libyan general Khalifa Haftar who controls the eastern parts of the north African troubled country. Also, he is accused of establishing contacts with Darfur armed groups.

Sources said a military court has started Hilal’s trial, adding the unannounced hearings has been taking place in Khartoum since several weeks ago.

He and other defendants face charges of armed rebellion against the constitutional order and participating in attacking the Central Reserve Forces in the area of Ghrat al-Zawia in 2014 and attacking the Rapid Support Forces on 26 November in Mistiriyha.

Hilal is also accused of inciting his forces to rebel and establishing the Revolutionary Awakening Council which called to fight against the government.

To justify his trial before a military court, the Sudanese government said Hilal is a general in its armed militias.

Musa Hilal, the Mahameed tribal leader. During the counterinsurgency campaign against the rebel groups, he led the notorious Janjaweed militiamen who are accused of war crimes in Darfur and crimes against humanity.

(ST)