Rebels Willing to Withdraw, Sudan Unwilling to Accept

For the sake of civilian safety, rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has announced that it would withdraw from Muhajiriya, a Darfur town currently targeted by the Sudanese army.

However, JEM said it would only pull out if Muhajiriya is designated as a demilitarized zone controlled by UNAMID peacekeepers – not by the Sudanese government or any other rebel group.

Immediate rejection of the conditional withdrawal came from the Sudanese government, who believes that there is “no room for conditions from JEM” and that Muhajiriya will be taken “in the right time”.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice condemned the Sudanese government’s recent bombings of the area surrounding Muhajiriya –

It’s been unacceptable for I don’t know how long now – six years, five years – I don’t know what it’s going to take but that’s completely unacceptable.

And that’s not all – the International Criminal Court’s decision regarding issuance of an arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir looms closer and closer with each passing day.

One thing is certain – right now is a crucial time for the people of Darfur.

Stay tuned.

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Sudan Issues Serious Warning

The Sudanese government has urged UNAMID peacekeepers to leave the Darfur town of Muhajiriya, warning that an attack against rebels is imminent.

We are not ordering them around, we are asking them…It’s sort of like informing them, “Something will be happening here”.

Despite the threats, UNAMID has refused to flee.

We are not going to leave when there are thousands of displaced people around our camp.

Today, the UN and the US “encouraged”the Justice and Equality Movement, the rebel group currently in control of Muhajiriya, to surrender the town.

Reports indicate that the Sudanese army is advancing upon Muhajiriya from three directions. Its intent to storm the town is moving forward with full force.

The US Says Stop

Today, a US State Department spokesperson lashed out against this week’s increased violence in Darfur and called for its cessation –

We demand that all parties to the conflict, including rebel movements, cease all violence and provocations in Darfur immediately and commit to the peace process.

Strong statement by the US.

However, one thing is missing – how about a “or else, we will…”?

To read more about the recent fighting between the Sudanese military and rebel group Justice and Equality Movement, click here.

Another Busy Day for Darfur

Today was an action-packed day in Darfur –

The Sudanese government admitted to bombing the South Darfur position of rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The bombing was carried out to “secure civilian lives” from rebels who refuse to adhere to the ceasefire ordered by Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir in November.

The aforementioned Omar Al-Bashir accused International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of having “no morals or manners“.  Regarding the ICC’s inevitable decision to issue an arrest warrant for Al-Bashir, the president stated that “they can dip it in water and drink it”.

Six women belonging to an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in West Darfur were rescued by UNAMID after being abducted while gathering firewood.

Imminent Attacks

Darfur rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has warned that, in the near future, it will begin attacks against members of the Sudanese government.

According to JEM deputy general commander Suleiman Sandal, attacks against Sudanese cities are “imminent”.

Sandal urged people to stay in their homes for their own security.

Ceasefire Violated Only Two Days Later

63Sudanese President Al-Bashir’s proclamation of a ceasefire last week rejuvenated hope for the people of Darfur and concerned citizens across the globe. However, it took only two days for the ceasefire to be violated.

According to Darfur rebel groups, multiple attacks by the government have come both by land and by air in Northern Darfur. UN sources have confirmed the attacks.

Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) spokesperson Ali Wafi believes the attacks lend credence to the idea that Al-Bashir’s praised ceasefire is “just a big lie and public relations”.

A spokesman for the Sudanese army refuted the “attacks” and reiterated the government’s steadfast commitment to the ceasefire – claiming the army’s actions were only in response to a robbery.