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Sudan warns Haftar against supporting Darfur rebel groups

Image of captured Darfur Rebels from SLM-MM on 21 May 2017
Image of captured Darfur Rebels from SLM-MM on 21 May 2017

Sudan has called on Libyan leader, Khalifa Haftar, to stop supporting and providing a safe haven for Darfur rebel groups, the Libyan Observer reported.

Speaking publically in Khartoum for the first time about the involvement of Haftar in the Darfur conflict, Ahmed Bilal Othman, Sudanese official spokesperson and minister of information, accused the Libyan eastern forces led by Haftar of attempting to destabilise Sudan and the region.

“Haftar is involving Sudanese Darfur rebel groups and mercenaries in conflicts in southern Libya and thus is continuing the same policy that was used by Muammar Gaddafi,” Osman explained.

Read: Sudan’s Al-Mahdi calls for a government able to work on ICC ‘genocide’ ruling

He said that Sudan was perfectly capable of defending its borders but called on Sudanese nationals to withdraw from Libya, “We are not going to urge Haftar to stop this violation and use of mercenaries because he is not able to achieve stability in his own country, rather, we call on Sudanese nationals who are engaged in Haftar’s war to detach themselves from the conflict.”

The minister referred to the admission, in October 2016, by a senior commander of Sudan’s Justice and Equality Movement rebel movement that they were fighting alongside Haftar’s Dignity Operation. Chief of Armament, Ibrahim Al-Baghdadi, told media outlets his group fought for the former Gaddafi brigades during the 2011 uprising and were now fighting alongside Haftar’s forces in eastern Libya.

Haftar allegedly rewards those who fight for him by providing a secure base from which to launch their attacks in the Darfur region, reports suggest.