KHARTOUM (AFP) – Pro-government Sudanese militias are attacking the key Darfur town of El-Fasher, a former rebel leader allied with Khartoum said, threatening to quit the government if the assault was not halted.
Even as I am talking to you, we are facing a Janjaweed attack on El-Fasher’s cattle market,” Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) chief Minni Minnawi told a press conference in Khartoum.
“The situation is critical,” said Minnawi, who signed a peace agreement in May with President Omar al-Beshir’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and was subsequently appointed as his adviser.
Two other rebel factions rejected the deal however while pro-government forces and their allied Janjaweed militia continued their attacks in Darfur, a vast western region devastated by almost four years of conflict and famine.
An angry Minnawi, talking to reporters at his Khartoum residence and circled by armed SLM members, said no casualty toll was available yet but added that the Janjaweed “were looting shops and committing exactions”.
He claimed the fact that the militia were well-armed and using good vehicles was proof the Janjaweed raid was supported by Beshir’s NCP. “Who is financing and supplying the Janjaweed? Certainly not us,” he said.
The young former rebel leader claimed “only three percent of the peace agreement has been implemented so far” and that Janjaweed militia have rased no less than 48 Darfur villages since the peace deal was signed in Abuja.