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Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Sudan Liberation Movement Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) declared the dispatch of a new 1,500-strong force aimed at combatting the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) across various regions of Sudan. This announcement comes amidst heightened tensions in the region, as various factions vie for control and influence.

The decision follows a pivotal moment in November 2023 when both the SLM-MM and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) revoked their neutrality in the ongoing conflict between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary RSF. Despite this declaration, their active military involvement has been relatively restrained until now.

The culmination of this strategic move was witnessed at a graduation ceremony held in Gedaref, eastern Sudan, where the latest batch of SLM’s “Tiger 1” group completed their training. In attendance was SLM leader Minawi, who, in his address to the graduates, underscored the imperative of their mission: defending civilians and upholding Sudan’s sovereignty in the face of escalating aggression.

Minawi, speaking after ten months of observing from the sidelines, characterized the current conflict as a “predatory campaign” that threatens Sudan’s unity and stability. He outlined his group’s unwavering commitment to ethical conduct throughout their 24-year struggle, vehemently denying any allegations of civilian casualties or human rights violations attributed to his forces.

Furthermore, Minawi didn’t mince words when contrasting his group’s principles with the alleged actions of the RSF, accusing them of heinous acts including sexual violence, civilian abuse, and the seizure of civilian institutions. He specifically cited the RSF’s recent takeover of El Geneina and other cities in Darfur following the withdrawal of armed forces, as well as reports of human rights abuses in Al-Jazirah state.

In his closing remarks, Minawi condemned the RSF’s purported motivations, labeling them as driven by “exploitation” and pursuing a “sham democracy,” thereby insinuating a blatant disregard for moral obligations. The deployment of the additional 1,500-strong force underscores the escalating tensions in Sudan and the increasing complexity of the conflict dynamics within the region.

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