Group of Darfurian rebels returns to Sudan from Chad


Breakaway group of Darfurian rebels voice readiness to take part in Khartoum-sponsored peace process

Several prominent Darfurian rebels on Tuesday returned to Khartoum from Chad to join an ongoing peace process sponsored by the Sudanese government.

Among the rebels to return to Sudan was Abu Bakr Hamid, a former head of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), which for years has fought the Sudanese government in the troubled Darfur region.

The latest development comes amid ongoing attempts by the Chadian government, led by Chadian President Idris Deby, to mediate between the warring camps.

Addressing reporters in Khartoum, Magdi Khalaf Allah, the Sudanese official responsible for the Darfur peace process, vowed to redouble the government’s efforts to achieve peace in Darfur.

“We commend this group [of returnees] who are joining the peace process,” he said.

“We reaffirm our commitment to our initial agreement to work towards peace in Darfur in particular and Sudan in general,” he added.

Hamid, for his part, used the occasion to thank Deby for his ongoing mediation efforts.

“President Deby has mediated between us and [Sudanese] President [Omar] al-Bashir, who has accepted our initiative with a view to protecting our country from foreign intervention,” he said.

The group of returning JEM rebels was accompanied by a high-level Chadian delegation headed by Chadian deputy intelligence chief Bagalia Shams Aldien.