May 12, 2008 / 11:40 AM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX: Rebel movements in Darfur

(Reuters) - Khalil Ibrahim, whose Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) attacked Khartoum at the weekend said on Monday he would launch more attacks on Sudan’s capital until the government fell.


— Since the flawed 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement, signed by only one of three rebel negotiating groups, insurgents have split into more than a dozen factions, creating a chaotic security environment on the ground.

— Late last year the Sudanese government and some Darfur rebels began peace talks in Libya but the proceedings fizzled out after JEM and other prominent rebel bodies boycotted the talks.

Here are some facts about some of the main rebel movements:


* In March 2008 JEM demanded one-on-one peace talks with Sudan, saying it was the only viable insurgent force left in the war-torn region. It said talks should be mediated by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and negotiations should spread beyond Darfur to cover “marginalized” territories across Sudan.

* JEM did not attend the Libya talks in late 2007, objecting to the presence of rebel groups they say had no constituency and no place at the table.

* New weapons, which Sudan says comes from directly from Chad’s government, has turned the JEM into the largest military threat to the Khartoum government on the ground. Chadian President Idriss Deby is from the same Zaghawa tribe as Khalil Ibrahim.

* Some distrust Khalil Ibrahim who they say has an Islamist agenda and has his eye on power in Khartoum rather than the rights of Darfuris.


* The faction is a loose alliance of many major figures among Darfur’s rebels. Officially led by Abdallah Yehya, it includes other prominent figures — Sherif Harir, Abu Bakr Kadu and Suleiman Jamous. SLA-UNITY joined JEM in rejecting the 2007 talks.


* Led by popular SLA/M founder and its original chairman Abdel Wahed Mohamed el-Nur, this group has few fighters mostly in western Jabel Marra, the central mountainous Darfur region where the revolt began. But Nur enjoys mass support among his Fur tribe, Darfur’s largest, and in the hundreds of camps for Darfuri displaced.


* Led by Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, former vice chairman of Khalil Ibrahim’s JEM. The group was formed in September 2007 after Ibrahim sacked Abu Garda and his ex-military chief Abdallah Abanda.


* Led by Idriss Ibrahim Azraq. Broke away from JEM in 2007, accusing it of “ethnic chauvinism” and an inclination toward “Islamic fundamentalism”.

Sources - Reuters/ United Nations/ International Crisis Group

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