May 16, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) denied statements by the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) about the presence of Chadian troops in Darfur and described it as “false allegations”.
JEM spokesperson, Gibreel Ada Bilal, said last Tuesday that Chadian troops entered into North Darfur after the killing of Mohamed Bashar, a leader of a splinter group, near the common border.
Al-Sawarmi Khaled, SAF spokesperson said on Thursday that Darfur is free of Chadian troops stressing that the rebel statements aim to embarrass the governments of Sudan and Chad.
He further said that the joint forces deployed on the border areas have no relation with the counter-insurgency operations carried out in Darfur by the Sudanese army.
The two countries formed in 2010 a joint force tasked with monitoring the border and preventing cross border attacks by rebel groups from the two sides.
JEM says Bashar and his troops attacked their positions near the border but the former rebels reaffirm that the convoy of their leader was travelling inside Chadian territory without guards or an armed escort.
Critics say the incident shows flaws in the border security system as the rebels were camping near the boundary and attacked Bashar’s convoy without the intervention of the joint force.
In a related development, president Omer Al-Bashir issued a presidential decree on Thursday forming a Darfur Regional Security Committee and appointed the head of Darfur Regional Authority Tijani Al-Sissi as chairman of this body.
The new security organ, which is included in the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, will work without prejudice to the exclusive security competences of the five governors of Darfur’s states who are members of this committee.