November 27, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – Commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, (aka Hametti) Monday confirmed the arrest of Darfur tribal leader Musa Hilal accusing him of involving in a foreign conspiracy against Sudan.
- RSF Commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, (aka Hametti) (SUNA photo)
Heavy clashes erupted on Sunday between the SRF and Hilal’s Border Guards Forces (BGF) at his headquarters in Mistiriyha, North Darfur state.
Hametti told the official news agency SUNA that Hilal and three of his sons, as well as a number of his aides, were captured; stressing the RSF director of general supplies Brigadier Abdel-Rahim Gumma and a number of RSF elements have been killed during the clashes.
He pointed out that Hilal has been handed over to the competent authorities in Khartoum, accusing him of involving in a foreign conspiracy against Sudan.
According to the RSF commander, a foreign national holding advanced and modern communication devices was arrested alongside Hilal which affirms involvement of foreign parties in destabilizing security and stability in Darfur.
He stressed the government would proceed with the implementation of the disarmament campaign to defeat the outlaws, saying the RSF would continue to carry out its work to impose the authority of the state.
Hametti further underscored the situation in Mistiriyha is now stable and under full control, saying the RSF continues to carry out its duties.
Meanwhile, Sudan’s State Defence Minister Ali Mohamed Salim on Monday confirmed Hilal’s arrest, saying the security situation in Mistiriyha is stable.
He told reporters at the National Assembly that Brigadier Abdel-Rahim Gumma and nine RSF elements have been killed during the clashes, denying civilian causalities.
Last August, the Sudanese authorities launched a six-month disarmament campaign to eliminate illegal weapons in the conflict-affected areas in Sudan, particularly in Darfur region.
The higher committee for the collection of weapons and unregulated vehicles started the forcible phase of the campaign in all the states of Sudan on 15 October.
On 11 October, 10,000 RSF militiamen arrived in North Darfur to contribute to establishing security in the troubled state and support the mandatory phase of the disarmament campaign.
However, Hilal refused to cooperate with the disarmament campaign and also rejected a government demand to merge his BGF militia with the RSF.
The tribal leader announced his readiness to confront government forces militarily if they attempt to disarm his militia forcibly.
Musa Hilal was designated by the US State Department in 2004 as one of the top Janjaweed leaders running a terror campaign against civilians in Darfur. However, the security agencies gradually distanced their activities from the tribal leader who formed the BGF.
He was angered by the formation of the RSF because the government promoted Hametti who was one of his aides to command this new militia, a move that he considers as a direct threat to his tribal authority.
Hilal left the capital Khartoum in mid-2013 and retreated to his hometown of Mistiriyha along with his troops and continued blasting the government and the ruling National Congress Party.
In 2014, Hilal’s troops seized control of western localities in North Darfur state including Saraf Omra, Kutum, Kebkabiya, Al-Seraif, and El Waha.
The tribal chief announced the establishment of administrations in these localities, naming his forces Sudanese Revolutionary Awakening Council (SRAC).