CAIRO — Two leading Sudanese rebel groups have
The Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement have
announced a merger. The two groups have led the rebellion in the western
province of Darfour.
On Jan. 20, the two groups released a statement that the merger would
include military forces, Middle East Newsline reported. The statement did not rule out the prospect of the
continuation of the rebellion in Darfour.
"The two movements have agreed to join and coordinate all political,
military and social forces, their international relations and to double
their combat capacity in a collective body under the name, the Alliance of
Revolutionary Forces of West Sudan," the two groups said in a joint
statement. "This union will strengthen the solidarity, cohesion and unity of
the people of Sudan in general and that of the west in particular."
The African Union, which has sought to end the war in Darfour, said it
was not officially informed of the merger. About 7,800 AU troops have been
deployed in Darfour in an unsuccessful effort to impose order in the
The merger came amid a Sudanese military offensive in rebel-held areas
in the east. Military units as well as the Janjaweed militia were reported
to have resumed attacks against villages and towns under rebel influence or
On Sunday, Sudanese President Omar Bashir called on the international
community to donate additional equipment for the AU force in Darfour. The AU
has warned that without significant help, the force might end its
peace-keeping mission in March.
"We call upon the international community to offer adequate support to
the African forces that have been relentlessly trying to reconstruct peace
and supply them with the necessary means of mobility, transport,
surveillance and provisions," Bashir said in Khartoum, where the AU summit
was taking place.