Darfur rebel SLM-JEM announce new alliance
Photo: Khalil Ibrahim, president of the JEM, told reporters "To lose time without uniting our efforts means extending the days of the (Khartoum) regime which has become a factor in the disintegration of the regime." (AFP/ST)
Note this excerpt from Darfur Information:
Dr Khalil Ibrahim, a protege of Islamist hardliner Dr Hasan al-Turabi. Formed in November 2002, JEM is increasingly recognised as being part and parcel of Dr Turabi's Popular Congress. Time magazine has described JEM as "a fiercely Islamic organisation said to be led by Hassan al-Turabi" and that Turabi's ultimate goal is "the presidential palace in Khartoum and a stridently Islamic Sudan".  Khalil is a long-time associate of Turabi's and served as a state minister in Darfur in the early 1990s before serving as a state cabinet-level advisor in southern Sudan. Ibrahim was a senior member of the Islamist movement's secret military wing. The International Crisis Group has noted that "Khalil Ibrahil ... is a veteran Islamist and former state minister who sided with the breakaway (Popular Congress) in 2002 and went into exile in the Netherlands. There is additionally evidence of some level of involvement of al-Qaeda with the Islamist JEM organisation.
Photo: A member of JEM seen here in 2004.
Excerpt from IRIN IRIN report 26 Nov 2003:
"Our objective is to improve the quality of life for the whole of Sudan," said Khalil, adding that Darfur was "just a starting point". He said the JEM and SLM/A had similar objectives, but the JEM had "a broader base" with troops and supporters stationed in Kordofan and other areas.
Since mid-November, heavy fighting has reportedly taken place in western Darfur between the JEM, and the government and militia groups operating in the region.
According to Ibrahim many of the militias are from Chad, and are being paid by Sudanese elements to fight and loot Sudanese property.
Photo: SLA President Minni Minnawi in truck. Click on image for further details.
Note, on September 19, 2005 the SLA attacked Government of Sudan forces in the South Darfur town of Shearia, resulting in an SLA takeover of the town. The Shearia attack prompted NGOs to evacuate the area. Excerpt from Radio Netherlands October 5, 2005:
Some are accusing the rebel SLA faction of deliberately provoking the Janjaweed into last week's attack in Darfur, arguing that they wanted to stop the other factions from making progress in the talks. Dr Reeves thinks this is a clear possibility:
"There is very little doubt that Minni Minnawi, the Secretary General of the SLA, launched a provocative attack on the town of Shearia ... Certainly, the SLA is culpable on many counts, all of which translates into a situation which is so violent and so insecure that humanitarian operations are all in the red zone: they are all on the point of withdrawal."
Photo: SLA rebels in Muzbat town North Darfur State, Sudan (c) Derk Segaar/IRIN