London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Dr Jibril Ibrahim, the Deputy Leader of the
Sudanese Revolutionary Front [SRF] and the leader of the Justice and
Equality Movement [JEM] has denied the participation of his movement in the
battles between the armies of Sudan and South Sudan in Hijlij in the mid
-April. He said that Khartoum was in a state of hysteria in which it found
it difficult to distinguish rationally the parties to the conflict. In an
interview with Asharq Al-Awsat that the Doha Document which led to an
agreement between the Government and the Liberation and Justice Movement
would not be suitable as a basis for negotiations with his movement in any
future stage because it is confined to Darfur at a time in which the SRF is
striving for a comprehensive solution for the entire country. The text of
the interview follows:
[Asharq Al-Awsat] Khartoum says that the SRF are mercenaries for the State
of South Sudan. What is your reply?
[Ibrahim] A regime which describes as "insects" human beings who have been
dignified by the Almighty Lord would not balk at using the language of [Arab
poet] Al-Mutanabbi in assailing Al-Akshidi and demeaning foes from his own
people. It is a regime that does not lack vile language and attempts to
cheapen people. The SRF formations are independent. They existed more than a
decade before the birth of the Republic of South Sudan. Their alliance with
each other does not undermine their independence or make them tools in the
hands of others. The regime is searching for a peg to justify its failures
and cover up for its nakedness.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] Khartoum also accused your forces of fighting in Hijlij
with the Southern Army in the middle of April?
[Ibrahim] The regime is in a state of hysteria in which it is difficult for
it to distinguish rationally and soberly between the sides to the conflict.
It has directed its arrows in every direction and has not left any internal
or external quarter without directing accusations to it. The regime's
confusion is due to the glaring defeat its Armed Forces and loyal militias
sustained in Hijlij. The fighting was between the forces of the regime and
the Army of the Southern State. Khartoum was unable to provide a plausible
justification to the people.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] Is it true that JEM sought alliances with other armed
movements after the number of its followers dwindled?
[Ibrahim] Even though there is nothing wrong for a politician to seek
support from others, and even though the assumption in the question is not
accurate, JEM did not form alliances with others when it became weak as the
question implies. It is not weak despite the loss of its leader, the martyr
Dr Khalil Ibrahim. We believe that power is in unity. We have made
unification of the resistance our principle and our progress in this is
being monitored by our establishments. The SRF was established more than a
month before the assassination of the martyr Khalil. Our aim is to topple
Al-Bashir and provide a democratic alternative.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] Al-Bashir described you as "insects" after he used the
same word to describe the Southerners. What is your reply?
[Ibrahim] Before he met his unenviable fate, Gaddafi described the Libyan
revolutionaries as rats. The Hutu rulers of Rwanda at that time called the
Tutsis "cockroaches" and committed genocide against them. After this they
searched for hiding places to protect them from justice. If a man who claims
to be a Muslim and to be the leader of a State in the twenty-first century
describes as "insects" humans who have been dignified by Allah, the only
explanation is that this man is a fugitive from international justice. This
proves that he committed the previous crimes. The international community
must take seriously what this "bloody dancer" says and strive to arrest him.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] Khartoum says that in the event of any agreement with
Juba, your movement will be reduced to highway bandits?
[Ibrahim] They used such descriptions against us before and swore that they
would n ever sit down with us to the negotiating table. We then saw them
roaming world capitals looking for somebody to mediate and make us sit down
with them. This is a self-contradicting regime that does not understand the
consequences of what it says. At times it makes organizations and
individuals' highway bandits but later makes them partners to negotiate with
on equal footing. The regime adopts a decision and its opposite on a single
[Asharq Al-Awsat] Are you going to enter into any negotiations with the
Sudanese Government? Will this be within the framework of the Doha Document?
[Ibrahim] We are peace advocates. Reaching peace through negotiations is
desirable and preferable to the other options if there is a serious partner
for peace. But the regime wants security and military solutions, so it is
futile to waste time with it and allow it to use negotiating forums for
public relations and buying favors. The Doha Document is not suitable as a
basis for negotiations in any coming phase because it is confined to Darfur
at a time in which the SRF is striving for a comprehensive solution for the
[Asharq Al-Awsat] The joint representative of UNAMID, Ibrahim Gambari, has
described the conditions in Darfur as stable. The Transitional Darfur
Authority has proposed the deployment of Sudanese-Chadian forces. What is
[Ibrahim] The UN position is expressed by Ibrahim Gambari because he is the
highest UN representative in the Darfur Province. But we must not forget
that what Gambari said was said before him by his predecessor Rodolfo Adada
yet the conditions remained as they were. Statements that are made upon
demand do not change the fact that the Darfur issue has not been solved. If
there is stability it is because the resistance is changing its tactics and
seeking to transfer the battle to the capital so that the solution would be
comprehensive. As to the demand by the so-called Transitional Authority, it
conflicts with the demand by the UNAMID command. If its neutrality is in
doubt because it goes along with the regime, then Sudanese-Chadian forces
will definitely lack neutrality and not be qualified for peacekeeping as
they face resistance in various parts of Sudan.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] How do you see the voluntary repatriation program for
Darfur's refugees and internally displaced persons [IDPs]? Is it true that
they are turning away from you?
[Ibrahim] It would be a gross mistake for people to think that we want the
refugees or IDPs to stay in the camps or that this serves us some way. We
would be happy to see our people leave the camps of humiliation and
indignity and return to their villages to resume normal life and
participation in production. It is with the rehabilitation of villages and
the abandoned countryside through voluntary repatriation that the resistance
will get food, material and social support, and men. The resistance has a
clear interest in this. But what the regime and the so-called Transitional
Authority are seeking has nothing to do at all with voluntary repatriation.
They want to evict the dwellers of the camps without ensuring security and
services. This is unacceptable.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] How do you see Sudan's future? Are you going to march
[Ibrahim] I am very optimistic that the more the going gets tough the better
the prospects for a breakthrough, despite the language used by the
regime--from the "injection" of Kamal Ubayd [statement that Southerners
would not be given even an injection in the North] to the "insects" of Umar
al-Bashir and the instructions of Ali Othman from parliament to his regular
forces to kill whoever tries to smuggle "a fruit" [to the South]. This is
similar to the language of former President Jaafar al-Numairi in his last
days. The people are destined to see the dawn soon, whether the SRF marches
to Khartoum or not. The people will not remain inactive after the dust of
Hijlij settles and the catastrophic military and economic facts become
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Received on Wed May 16 2012 - 17:52:50 EDT