March 17, 2023 (EL FASHER) – Minni Minnawi, Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) leader, Friday warned that he would not disarm his combatants as agreed under the Juba peace agreement pointing to what he called the “ongoing recruitment campaigns” in the Darfur region.
The Rizeigat tribe paramount Mahmoud Madebo who is a supporter of the deputy chairman of the Sovereign Council Mohamed Hamdan Saglo “Hemetti” on Thursday denounced the recruitment in the army of the Mahameed clan fighters who were formerly affiliated with the Border Guard Forces led by the tribal leader Musa Hilal.
“There is military recruitment and mobilization in Darfur. This is completely unacceptable,” Minnawi said in remarks delivered before the closing session of the Conference on the Return of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees, in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state on Friday.
The former rebel leader said that the recruitment of new fighters in Darfur constitutes a violation of the peace deal they struck with the government in 2020.
“Any armed movement or regular forces signatory of the peace agreement does not need new recruitment or mobilization of fighters. The inclusion of new fighters means preparation for war,” he added.
Minnawi further said he got reports about “the return of armed militias” that supported the regime of the ousted President Omer al-Bashir, during the years of fighting in the Darfur region.
Darfur governor was alluding to the Border Guard Forces of Musa Hilal who was arrested by the Rapid Support Forces of Hemetti and imprisoned by the former president but remained in jail for two years after the collapse of his regime.
The SLM leader went further to threaten to withdraw his combatants from the cantonment sites under the implementation of the security arrangements of the Juba peace agreement.
“We have forces that we handed over to the government to train them. This means that we will withdraw them,” he said before adding “We must understand in order to be prepared.
“We will not disarm our forces while armament and recruitment are taking place,” he stressed.
Minnawi statements come after the recent political development in Khartoum his week.
The civilian and military leaders agreed to finalize the ongoing process and to move towards the formation of a civilian government without the non-signatories of the political framework agreement.
The SLM leader and Justice and Equality Movement leader reject the political process and sought to obstruct it during the past months.
They call to maintain the 2019 constitution declaration which gives the armed groups 25% of the government seats. Under the new transitional constitution, they can nominate independent civilians but cannot take part as armed groups in the new government.
The reports about the recruitment of the Border Guards Forces in the national army were circulated by the supporters of Hemetti who is nowadays at odds with the Sudanese army leaders.