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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Ex-Janjaweed leader calls for reconciliation in Darfur

July 21, 2016 (EL-FASHER) – The Arab Mahameed clan chief Musa Hilal has called on the Darfurian community to unify and renounce violence to achieve development, reconciliation and stability in the region.

Former janjaweed leader and tribal chief, Musa Hilal (ST Photo)
Former janjaweed leader and tribal chief, Musa Hilal (ST Photo)
Hilal, became notorious as Janjaweed leader, after eruption of simmering conflicts in Darfur in 2003. He stands accused by many human rights groups of leading a terror campaign against the African tribes in Darfur.

But he has denied any wrongdoing and told Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a videotaped interview in 2005, that he only recruited militias on behalf of Sudan’s central government.

Hilal arrived in North Darfur capital, El-Fasher on Tuesday where he met with governor Abdel-Wahid Youssef in what he described as “social meeting”.

He told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday that he came to North Darfur to pray for mercy for the dead, pointing he is adopting a social programme to “unify the people”.

The tribal chief demanded the local communities in Darfur to renounce violence, pointing to the need for maintaining security and stability in the region.

“Darfur youths must give more attention to the region because it has suffered a lot and they should contribute to achieving stability and development,” he said.

He pointed that tribal chiefs in Darfur have direct responsibility to provide security for the residents, saying “that is why we support the security organs to achieve stability in the country”.

Hilal further called on Darfur residents including farmers and herders to cooperate with other sectors in the region to achieve stability.

The tribal leader stressed his support for the government efforts to achieve peaceful coexistence and reconciliation and to repair the social fabric.

He pointed that the upcoming visit of President Omer al-Bashir to North Darfur during the coming days would contribute to enhance stability and development efforts in the state.

In January 2008, al-Bashir appointed Hilal as a special adviser for the Ministry of Federal Affairs in Sudan.

Later, Hilal fell out with the former governor of North Darfur state, Osman Kibir and turned his militiamen against him, accusing the latter of feeding tribal conflicts in the state.

The notorious Janjaweed leader then started making statements critical of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), of which he is a member, and calling for deep reforms.

He left the capital Khartoum in mid-2013 and retreated to his home town of Misteriya in North Darfur along with his troops and continued blasting the government and the NCP.

In 2014, Hilal’s troops seized control of western localities in North Darfur state including Saraf Omra, Kutum, Kebkabiya, Al-Seraif, and El Waha.

The tribal chief announced the establishment of administrations in these localities, naming his forces the Sudanese Revolutionary Awakening Council (SRAC).

(ST)