[Dehai-WN] (Reuters): Sudan rebels in Darfur, border states sign alliance

[Dehai-WN] (Reuters): Sudan rebels in Darfur, border states sign alliance

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 01:18:21 +0100

Sudan rebels in Darfur, border states sign alliance

Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:08pm GMT

(Adds Sudan government reaction)

KHARTOUM Nov 12 (Reuters) - Rebels in Sudan's Darfur region and troubled
southern border states said on Saturday they had formed an alliance to
topple the government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, raising the
prospect of more violence in the volatile areas.

Sudan accused South Sudan, which split away as an independent country in
July, of having helped set up the alliance and called it an act of

Analysts said the new alliance showed closer coordination among various
rebel groups left in Sudan after the South seceded under the terms of a 2005
peace agreement.

Sudan's army is fighting separate insurgencies in the western region of
Darfur as well as in the southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile
bordering South Sudan.

Violence in the joint border region has led to tensions between Khartoum and
South Sudan. The United Nations accused Sudan this week of having bombed a
refugee camp in South Sudan, a charge denied by Khartoum.

Khartoum and Juba accuse each other of backing rebels in each other's

Darfur's main rebel groups -- the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and
the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) -- and the SPLM-N, which fights the army in
South Kordofan and Blue Nile, said they had formed a political and military

The alliance called "Sudanese Revolutionary Front" is focused on "toppling
the regime of the (Sudan's ruling) National Congress Party with all possible
means" and replace it with a democratic system, the groups said in a joint
statement sent to Reuters on Saturday.

A joint military committee will be formed to coordinate military action
against Khartoum, it said, without elaborating.

"This is a military and political alliance. We will coordinate fighting to
end this government which wants no peace," said Ibrahim el-Hilu, a spokesman
for one faction of the SLA.

Sudan's security services accused South Sudan of having helped form the
alliance by allowing rebels to meet in the new country to prepare their
declaration, the state-linked Sudanese Media Center (SMC) said on its

"The sponsoring of South Sudan's government of the so-called Sudanese
Revolutionary Front is a clear sign of aggression of the southern state
against Sudan," SMC quoted a security official as saying.

Analysts say the alliance may mean no immediate military threat to Bashir
but dashes hopes of a political resolution to insurgencies in Darfur and
southern border regions.

Fighting erupted between SPLM-N rebels and the army in South Kordofan in
June and spread to neighbouring Blue Nile state in September. Both states
are home to populations who sided with the South Sudan during a decades-long
civil war with the Khartoum government and now complain of marginalisation.

A separate insurgency has raged in Darfur since 2003, again involving rebel
groups who say they have been marginalised by the political elite in

Sudan signed a peace accord with a small Darfur rebel group on Thursday, but
JEM and other larger groups have refused to sign. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing
and Khalid Abdelaziz)

C Thomson Reuters 2011 All rights reserved


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