April 2015 - Posts
April 28, 2015 (NYALA) - The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir has threatened to pursue rebels inside South Sudan territory to disarm them.
The Sudanese army clashed during the weekend with Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebels in South Darfur state allegedly coming from the neighbouring South Sudan.
On Sunday, the Sudanese government military spokesperson, al-Sawarmi Khaled, said they crushed JEM fighters at al-Nikhara area, south of the locality of Tulus in South Darfur and inflicted on them heavy losses in lives and equipment.
Khartoum further accused Juba of harbouring and supporting the rebel forces which for long time were based in South Kordofan in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) controlled areas.
Bashir, who addressed the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) fighters in the Gouz Dango area in South Darfur Tuesday, warned South Sudan government against continuing support and harbour for the armed groups, demanding it to disarm them.
“Sudan remained patient towards the southerners and gave them an [independent] state but only received betrayal and conspiring in return,” he said.
“We will give them [South Sudan government] another chance to make the right decision and disarm the rebels or otherwise the RSF is ready to do the job,” Bashir added.
The Sudanese president underscored they reserve the right to defend themselves against any rebel or agents of foreign powers even inside Raja, Aweil or Juba, saying the RSF defeated the rebels in South Kordofan and forced them to retreat to South Sudan.
The Sudanese government security agencies released photos and videos of detained JEM fighters and the vehicles captured from the rebel groups following the South Darfur battles.
Al-Bashir said that the Westerners have tempted rebels to seize power in Khartoum and trained them for one and a half year, adding that the RSF defeated them in the battle of Dango in half an hour.
He described the JEM and the Sudan Liberation Movement Minni-Minnawi (SLM-MM) as “mercenaries, terrorists and outlaws,” saying that RSF has liberated Sudan of them.
He stressed the RSF defeated the rebels and did not let down the leadership in Khartoum, pointing they made the right decision when they formed it.
The RSF militia, which is widely known as the Janjaweed militias, were originally mobilized by the Sudanese government to quell the insurgency that broke out in Sudan’s western region of Darfur in 2003.
The militia was activated and restructured again in August 2013 under the command of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) to fight rebel groups in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states following joint attacks by Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebels in North and South Kordofan in April 2013.
NISS’s director, Mohamed Atta, for his part, said the RSF fulfilled their promise to defeat the JEM, pointing that rebels said they would sabotage elections and oilfields but failed to do so.
He noted that more than 1100 JEM fighters had entered the country from South Sudan, stressing that only 37 injured survived the clashes and returned.
“We dedicate this victory to the president of the republic [Bashir] on the day of his re-election for another term”. He said.
SRF commander, Mohamed Hamdan Duglo, said they seized 161 Land Cruiser vehicles and a large amount of heavy and light weaponry besides telecommunications equipments, stressing they captured 340 hostages including field commanders from JEM.
Duglo also said his fighters are still chasing the fleeing rebels, describing the leader of the SLM-MM as “cowered”.
SHUTTING DOWN BORDERS WITH SOUTH SUDAN
Meanwhile, Sudan’s defence minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, who also addressed the RSF fighters, said the latter carried out the “Decisive Summer” campaign successfully and has not let down the leadership.
Hussein said in press statements on Monday that Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) had closed all border crossings with South Sudan in order to monitor moves of the rebels groups, accusing Juba of supporting rebels groups and offer them training through foreign experts and states hostile to Sudan.
He said the JEM fighters received extensive training in South Sudan for one year and a half year to destabilise security and sabotage elections. He emphasised that the recent battle against rebels was decisive and led to destruction of the JEM forces.
The defence minister pointed out that they achieved a sweeping victory against JEM in al-Nikhara battles, saying that SAF is ready to protect the country against any aggressors.
Khartoum and Juba regularly trade accusations of support to rebel groups from both sides.
To settle this issue, the two countries committed themselves in the Cooperation Agreement of 27 September 2012 to stop supporting or harbouring rebel groups, and agreed to establish a buffer zone on the border and to form a joint monitoring team to prevent rebel infiltration.
However, the agreement was not implemented as Juba fears that the establishment of a Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ) may irritate the Dinka Malual who believe that the deal leads to concede the disputed 14-Mile Area to Sudan.
April 23, 2015 (Tehran - Arash Karami ) – When Saudi Arabia announced its coalition for the bombing campaign of Yemen nearly a month ago, the inclusion of Sudan must have raised eyebrows in Tehran. Iran and Sudan, while never strategic allies, have in the last few decades established varying degrees of military, economic and religious ties, much to the discomfort of Western countries and Arab countries in the Persian Gulf.
Sudan has reportedly benefited from Iranian military and financial aid while Tehran sees Sudan as its gateway to Africa, allegedly for weapons smuggling, but also through funding of Shiite cultural centers and mosques in the mostly Sunni country.
The first sign of major differences between the two countries appeared in September 2014, when Sudan ordered all of Iran’s cultural centers to be closed and gave Iranian diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein-Amir Abdollahian initially denied the news and said “some want to destroy the good ties between Tehran and Khartoum.” However, the website for Sudan’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the news.
At the time, no reason was given for the closure of Iran’s cultural centers, but Sudan has always maintained a relationship with Sunni Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia, Iran’s main political and religious regional rival. Just one month after the closure of the Iranian centers, in an interview with Saudi-funded Asharq Al-Awsat, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir denied ever having a strategic relationship with Iran, saying, “What the Saudis have been told about our relationship with Tehran has been exaggerated.”
Bashir also denied that Iran’s cultural centers were closed as a conciliatory move for Sunni countries but did say, “There are Shiites in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, among others, [but] we cannot allow them to have a presence in Sudan.”
Iran officially has opposed the Saudi coalition against the Houthi rebels, who are Zaydi Muslims, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Saudi officials claim their attack on the Houthis is aimed at rolling back Iran’s regional influence in Yemen. While Iranian officials have not been vocal about Sudan joining the Saudi coalition, a number of media have covered Sudan’s about-face, some in harsh terms.
An article by hard-line Mashregh News conveyed that despite Iran’s help throughout the years, Bashir “found a better meal and traded Iran’s generous help for a seat at Al Saud’s table.” The article stated that given Sudan’s closing of Iran’s offices, maybe Sudan’s support for Saudi’s bombing of Yemen was not unexpected, but “at the same time, everyone who is aware of our country’s support and help of [Bashir] during the most difficult times of his rule, did not expect this level of political immorality and obscenity.”
Mashregh said that it wasn’t too long ago that Saudi Arabia would not even allow Bashir to fly over Saudi airspace. Bashir was invited to President Hassan Rouhani’s inauguration in August 2013, but Saudi Arabia refused to allow Bashir to fly across its airspace and forced him to turn back his flight. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes.
Iranian analyst Hadi Zargari wrote on the Tabyin Strategic Think Tank website, "Sudan's policy in joining the Arab coalition against Yemen shows a change in foreign policy, and not only is it not tactical, but it indicates a serious transformation in their approach on regional issues."
Zargari explained that while Sudan is an African country, it is strategically an important country for the Middle East on par with Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, particularly with respect to issues such as Palestine and Yemen. He wrote that despite pressures from the West and Arab countries, Iran and Sudan have had a “deep and complex” relationship, which has resulted in a cold relationship with Saudi Arabia for Sudan.
However, Zargari argues that in the last year and a half, Sudan has changed its regional policies by distancing itself from Hamas, despite Sudan’s anti-Israel position, and by attempting to build ties with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, despite Sudan’s previous support for the Muslim Brotherhood. Both of these moves align Sudan with Saudi foreign policy. The closeness with Sisi resulted in better relations and communications with the Saudis, Zargari said.
Zargari believes that Bashir shifted the country’s foreign policy away from Tehran and toward Saudi Arabia because Sudan’s “domestic problems played the determining factor.” Losing 75% of its oil to South Sudan after independence in 2011 has forced Sudan to secure its economic needs and seek economic aid, which explains why Sudan joined Saudi Arabia’s coalition against Yemen, Zargari wrote.
While it may not be exactly clear what has resulted in Sudan’s change in foreign policy, Iranian analysts seem to believe this is a strategic and long-term shift. This was a decadeslong relationship for Tehran and one it cannot replace easily, which explains some of the anger in the Iranian media by hard-line outlets.
April 20, 2015 (JAKARTA) – Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir at the last minute canceled a trip to Indonesia for a summit this week, a government official said, in what would have been his first trip outside of Africa or the Middle East in nearly four years.
Bashir's plan to attend the Asia-African leaders conference in Jakarta sparked protests among rights groups, who want the president to be arrested.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant in 2009 accusing him of war crimes and crimes against humanity related to the conflict in Darfur. Indonesia is not an ICC member.
"Because he is busy monitoring the post-elections operations, the country's leadership saw it best for President Omar al-Bashir to stay in the country," said Sudan's foreign ministry spokesman Ali al-Sadiq.
Sudan's minister of foreign affairs will instead lead the country's delegation at the Asian-African summit.
A conference organizer confirmed Bashir will not be attending, but declined to say why. A press conference about the issue was scheduled to take place later on Tuesday in Jakarta.
Rights groups welcomed Bashir's canceled trip.
"These developments reinforce al-Bashir's status as a fugitive from international justice with limited travel options," said Elise Keppler, associate director of the International Justice Programme at Human Rights Watch.
Bashir's last visit outside of the region was to China in June 2011, though he has continued traveling to Arab and African states since then.
Most of Bashir's visits have been to non-ICC states such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where he traveled in March.
He also went to member states that have declined to arrest him, such as Nigeria, which hosted the Sudanese president in July 2013. The ICC does not have its own police force but relies on member states to detain suspects.
The Non-Aligned Movement was founded during the Cold War by countries that did not want to ally themselves with either the Soviet Union or the United States.
April 19, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – About 40 percent of voters cast a ballot in Sudan’s presidential elections, Khartoum-based TV channel Ashorooq reported Sunday, citing the electoral commission.
Turnout was generally low during the voting days from April 13-16, the African Union said in a statement Saturday. Sudan’s election was extended by a day to encourage the 13.8 million registered voters to cast a ballot.
Rebels in the south fired rockets at major towns in an effort to disrupt the polls. Sudanese police killed one rebel and captured two others who were trying to disrupt operations in the Diffra oilfield, police spokesman General al-Serr Ahmed Omar said by phone from Khartoum.
President Umar al-Bashir, who has ruled for a quarter century, is widely expected to win. The main opposition parties didn’t field candidates. Results will be announced on April 27.
"Arab League has deployed 40 observers that travelled to all Sudanese states during the elections," the monitoring mission head Alaa al-Zuhairi said at a press conference in Khartoum.
The Arab League monitoring mission said Sunday that Sudan's general elections were carried out "transparently and in accordance with international standards."
"The mission has deployed 40 observers that travelled to all Sudanese states during the elections," mission head Alaa al-Zuhairi said at a press conference in Khartoum.
The observers, he added, had "visited 1,000 polling stations and monitored the tallying in 31 stations."
He went on to note that the elections were carried out "transparently and in accordance with international standards," adding that mission registered some errors with the distribution of voter lists at some polling stations.
"No security violations were registered during the days of the election due to the heavy deployment of security forces in all Sudanese states," al-Zuhairi said.
"The mission also registered a rise in the turnout of elderly and special needs voters, and a drop in the participation of young people," he added.
On Thursday, the National Elections Commission (NEC) declared that final poll results would be announced on April 27.
The election, which kicked off Monday, was initially scheduled to end on Wednesday, but the NEC extended the vote for an additional day – to Thursday – due to low turnout on the first three days.
The elections were dogged by logistic, administrative and security difficulties, according to the electoral commission.
Some 13 million Sudanese were eligible to vote in the polls, which incumbent President Omar al-Bashir, who has ruled the country for over 25 years, is expected to win.
Voters also elected 425 members of parliament and 2,235 members of state legislative assemblies.
Many opposition parties had boycotted the vote.
April 18, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan began tallying votes from its presidential and legislative elections Friday, with electoral observers estimating that only a third of Sudan’s 13.3 million registered voters went to the polls. However, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) dismissed the remarks and said the Sudanese government was pleased with this week's turnout.
“We can confirm that we are satisfied about the people’s participation. For those who are talking about low turnout, we believe they are not aware of what is happening or deliberately intending to talk about low participation,” Ibrahim Ghandour, the NCP's deputy chairman, told China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency on Friday.
The Sudanese government extended elections to allow the largest possible electorate. But former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who led the African Union’s observation mission for Sudan's elections, said two-thirds of registered voters did not cast ballots during the four days of voting. Obasanjo said the low turnout was likely due to voter apathy because of a lack of electoral competition. “I believe 30-35 percent of the voters cast their votes,” Obasanjo told Sudan’s state-run SUNA news agency Friday.
A slew of international organizations, including the African Union and the Arab League, monitored Sudan’s elections, as did 210 Sudanese organizations. China, Russia, Nigeria and seven other African countries also monitored the polls. The final results are scheduled to be announced April 27, Xinhua News Agency said.
Incumbent President Omar al-Bashir is largely expected to win re-election after the main opposition parties boycotted the polls by not fielding candidates. Bashir has ruled for 25 years and many Sudanese believe the NCP leader will claim victory by default. The hostility over the presidential election has sparked violent clashes between armed opposition groups and government soldiers.
Bashir's rule is not expected to be affected by an International Criminal Court warrant for his arrest in connection with war crimes in the country's Darfur region. The ICC, citing a need to "shift resources to other urgent cases," halted its Darfur probe in December. More recently, Bashir revealed that he refused to accept the resignation of North Kordofan Gov. Ahmed Haroun and also resisted pressure to fire Haroun over the governor's own indictment by the ICC, the Sudan Tribune reported.
The military wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement opposition party began shelling rockets on major towns in South Kordofan state on Monday in an effort to disrupt the general elections. The Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) rebels seized ballot boxes in the southern state earlier this month in an attempt to sabotage the controversial elections, the Sudan Tribune reported. The group is banned by the Sudanese government and has had several clashes with security forces.
April 15, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – A sign in Arabic outside a Khartoum home says "Dear candidate, don't bother knocking. This family is boycotting the elections".
For Eiman al-Khidr, the decision to boycott the country's elections was very personal.
She recounts how her cousin and sister were shot dead during the September 2013 protests that claimed over 100 lives in the streets of Khartoum.
Her 15-year-old cousin Sohaib was getting sweets from a nearby shop when he heard gun shots and started to run away with his friends. As he was running, the police shot him in the back and he died on the spot.
"Sohaib was not an activist. He was just buying sweets with his friends," al-Khidr says.
At his funeral, in the north of Khartoum, the whole family gathered, upset and in shock. A large crowd formed outside the house of the deceased.
Al-Khidr says there was heavy police presence, because protests were ongoing in nearby areas.
Her voice starts to tremble as she recalls how one plain-clothed policeman started shooting at the crowd, and how her sister Sara, 29, was shot as she was trying to escape the gun shots.
"We are not a political active family. We were not even at the protests. We were at the wrong place at the wrong time like many Sudanese. No one deserves to be killed like this."
To publicly show her boycott and discontent for the this week's elections, al-Khidr responded to a call on social media to put a sign on the door of her family's house and share a photo of it online.
"Dear candidate, don't bother knocking. This family is boycotting the elections, so save yourself the embarrassment," the sign reads.
She says that by putting up the sign, and posting it on Whatsapp and Facebook profiles, she and her extended family are protesting against the government's brutality and violence.
"We refuse to participate in the killing of our people by acknowledging these elections," she says.
Another Sudanese woman who opted to show her disapproval of the elections by putting up a sign is Rawa Bakhit.
"I am not aligned with any political movement, but I am against these fake elections and the government's obsession with trying to make everyone believe the lie that people are participating in this sham," she says.
Bakhit says local media is biased and does not accurately reflect the atmosphere in the streets.
"The local TV stations are brainwashed and too biased, they don't show the truth. By hanging the sign outside our home I'm showing my resistance.
"Everyone in our neighbourhood is boycotting, the polling stations in our area is empty."
After the standard message asking candidates not to bother her, the sign outside her house reads: "#Depart #Irhal the resistance continues."
Irhal is the name of a nationwide campaign with the ultimate goal to see President Omar al-Bashir, in power since 25 years, step down.
Bakhit works as a human rights advocate, campaigning for children’s rights.
"My field work in Darfur and South Kordofan made me see first-hand the brutality of this government," she said, referring to two states where the government is accused of grave human rights violations in its battle with armed groups.
"The atrocities committed in these areas is not just reports to me, I saw it and it's my responsibility to do the least I can to protest. Otherwise I will be as responsible as the government."
April 12, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, the world's only sitting leader wanted on genocide charges, is expected to win a landslide victory in elections this week, extending a 25-year reign in which the country has endured multiple insurgencies and the secession of the oil-rich south.
Despite Sudan's seemingly perpetual unrest, al-Bashir survived the 2011 Arab Spring. His ruling party dominates the parliament and local councils, and the massive security apparatus has left the once-vibrant opposition a husk of its former self.
Al-Bashir has ruled the country since taking power in a 1989 coup, but billboards across Khartoum showing him in traditional robes or military fatigues proclaim: "We lead reform, we continue the renaissance."
The unrest sweeping the region may have convinced many Sudanese that al-Bashir's continued rule is preferable to the even greater chaos that could follow his departure.
"The states' collapse and the fall of the army in several Arab countries in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings made people think twice before moving against al-Bashir and calling for his immediate departure," said rights lawyer Nabil Adeeb. "For many, Sudan could turn into a new Somalia."
Nearly 13 million people are registered to vote for president and the 450-member legislative council starting Monday. Some 11,000 polling centers will be open through Wednesday, and results are expected on April 27.
The vote is being greeted with widespread apathy, in part because the 15 candidates allowed to compete with al-Bashir are virtually unknown to the public. The government is nevertheless hoping for a wide turnout, and many expect a repeat of the vote-rigging that took place during the first multi-candidate election in 2010, when al-Bashir won with 68 percent.
"There is one candidate and the rest are extras," said Ahmed Mazamel, sitting with friends in a downtown Khartoum coffee shop. "Dictatorships need fake elections to stay in power longer."
"I have nothing to do with these elections. There is no use," Azzam Salah, from Port Sudan state, said. "I can recognize only one face among the 16 running -- the current president."
And yet the vote is not entirely meaningless, at least for al-Bashir himself, and religious authorities have instructed Muslim clerics to encourage people to vote.
As long as he remains in office, al-Bashir will not be sent to the International Criminal Court on charges of orchestrating genocide during the Darfur conflict, which left 300,000 people dead and 2 million displaced.
The president also hopes to preserve a veneer of legitimacy as he tries to improve relations with countries that can help bail Sudan out economically. Sudan recently joined the Saudi-led coalition bombing the Houthi rebels in Yemen, perhaps hoping for aid from the petroleum-rich Gulf.
The 2011 secession of South Sudan, which ended Africa's longest-running civil war, deprived Khartoum of a third of its territory and population, and nearly 80 percent of its oil revenues. Smaller armed conflicts are currently raging in the country's east, west and south.
The economic losses forced al-Bashir to embark on austerity measures in 2013 that sparked the largest anti-government demonstrations of his rule. As protests erupted in several cities, including affluent parts of Khartoum, the security forces clamped down, killing some 200 people and arresting hundreds more.
Opposition candidates might have hoped to translate that frustration into electoral gains and even challenge al-Bashir, but a raft of new laws and a heavy-handed crackdown have made that virtually impossible.
In January, al-Bashir's National Congress Party — which holds 90 percent of parliamentary seats, passed 18 constitutional amendments that expanded his presidential powers, including the appointment of governors and judges. It also granted sweeping powers to an intelligence agency, placing it on par with the army and police.
The opposition organized a boycott campaign in response, but has struggled to get the message out. Two leading opposition figures were jailed in January on terror-related charges for orchestrating the campaign, and were only released last week.
Amnesty International said last month that 15 newspapers have had editions confiscated since January, and that security agencies have detained and interrogated journalists while threatening to shutter non-governmental organizations. One female chief editor faces charges punishable by death.
This week, the European Union said it doubted the vote would produce credible results.
Abdullah al-Aqib, a candidate from a party close to the government who is running for parliament in Khartoum, said the opposition's failure to compete was its own fault. The opposition parties are "far away from the masses," he said, adding that participation in the election was the only way to bring about change.
But activist Ihsan Fouqairi said the election will be met with "a deep state of desperation."
"Al-Bashir will remain in power no matter what, and for the people, elections are useless," she said.
Khartoum, April.7 (SUNA) - The Secretary General of the Authority of the Sudanese Working Abroad, Ambassador, Haj Magid Sewar has outlined that the first batch of the Sudanese returning from Yemen which includes 500 citien, moves, today, Tuesday to Saudi Arabia .
Ambassador Sewar addressing the meeting of the Ministerial Committee for Evacuation of Sudanese from Yemen which held, at the Cabinet Secretariat General, Tuesday, said the land evacuation operations will continue tomorrow, Wednesday .
He said the committee expressed satisfaction over the arrangement carried out with the International Organization for Imigration (IOM) for starting air evacuation, as of Wednesday, in coordination with the Saudi authorities .
'The committee coordinates with all the concerned circles to evacuate the Sudanese nationals from Yemen .
April 05, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Rebels in Sudan's South Kordofan said Sunday they had captured a lorry carrying ballot boxes to polling stations for nationwide elections due next week, vowing to disrupt voting in the conflict-hit region.
The Sudan People's Liberation Army-North "ambushed and captured a vehicle loaded fully with ballot boxes" on Saturday on the road linking the state capital Kadugli with the town of Dilling, spokesman Arnu Lodi said.
The SPLA-N will press its "military campaign plan" to stop elections in South Kordofan, Lodi said in the statement, warning civilians to avoid military sites "because they are legitimate targets".
But army spokesman Colonel Al-Sawarmy Khaled Saad told AFP he had no information on the ambush.
Last month the SPLA-N announced its campaign to disrupt presidential and legislative elections slated for April 13.
Sudan's mainstream opposition is boycotting the elections, which are widely expected to extend the rule of President Omar al-Bashir, 71.
Bashir's government has been battling the SPLA-N in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states since 2011.
The SPLA-N has said the armed campaign intends to integrate "the various means of struggle, armed uprising and civil disobedience, to work together to stop the elections".
Their political wing signed the Sudan Call agreement aimed at uniting the opposition in Addis Ababa in December, along with political parties, civil society organisations and other armed groups.
The group is boycotting the elections but several signatories have denied the SPLA-N's campaign to disrupt the elections is Sudan Call's armed wing.
Representatives for Sudan Call had been due to meet members of Sudan's ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Addis Ababa at the end of March to discuss a national dialogue promised by Bashir last January.
The dialogue was supposed to address Sudan's problems and end the insurgencies in Blue Nile, South Kordofan and the western region of Darfur.
The NCP did not attend and said the pre-dialogue meeting would take place after voting.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced his "disappointment" at the meeting's failure.
Sudan Call sharply criticised the NCP in a statement on Sunday, urging Sudanese to "escalate resistance to the fake elections," but did not say whether they would attend talks after the vote.
Violence has risen over the past month in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and the government said last week fighting since the beginning of March alone had displaced at least 20,000.
Despite this, Defence Minister Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein said on Friday the army "will not allow the rebels to impede elections".
And Bashir has pledged to bring peace to conflict-stricken states, either by force or through talks.
Bashir, a career soldier, came to power in a 1989 coup and has been indicted by the International Criminal Court over alleged war crimes in the western region of Darfur, where he is battling a separate insurgency.