300 Darfur rebels join Sudan government militia

Border Guards Forces hold their weapons during a gathering in North Darfur area of Misteriya on 13 Aug 2017 (ST Photo)

November 3, 2017 (EL-FASHER) – Some 300 Arab rebel fighters Friday have joined the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia of the Sudanese army after their defection from the Sudan Army Movement – Revolutionary Forces (SAM-RF) of Abdelallah Raziqallah aka (Savanna).

The defectors led by al-Haj Widdaha Mohamed have been welcomed by the North State Governor Abdel Wahid Youssef saying they represent “a real addition to the process of security and stability in the state”.

The governor further praised the efforts of the Rapid Support Forces which led the dialogue until their efforts resulted in the return of the group.

Further, he pledged the government’s commitment to implement all that was agreed upon, especially the arrangement to integrate the group in the official bodies.

On 23 October, the RSF said they defeated a rebel force led by Rizkallah that tried to attack Kutum town, 115 km northwest of El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state.

Rizkallah was part of the government militias but rebelled after Khartoum decision last August to merge his militia in the RSF led by Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, (aka Hametti), another member of his Mahameed tribal clan.

The government has massed a significant number of its militiamen in North Darfur state reportedly in preparation for the second phase of the arms collection campaign which will require the use of force against any tribe or armed group that refuses to hand over their weapons.

In this respect, Youssef reiterated the state government determination to follow the arms collection process without exception and to extend its hand to all who wanted peace.

The governor was alluding to Musa Hilal the notorious tribal leader who had been involved in the counterinsurgency campaign in Darfur but latter diverged with the government because Khartoum didn’t reward him “sufficiently”.

For his part, the leader of the SAM-RF faction announced their readiness to join the government RSF adding that their move intends to preserve peace and avoid bloodshed.