Wanted Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir returned to Khartoum after a two-day visit to Libya, saying he had secured Libyan guarantees to curb any Darfur rebel attacks.
Relations had been strained between the two countries after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi agreed to offer refuge to Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) chief Khalil Ibrahim who had left peace talks in Qatar to return to the field in Darfur. Bashir’s trip was his second since the International Criminal Court last month added genocide to the charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.
“The two sides agreed that Khalil would not launch any attacks against Sudan from Libyan territories,” State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Hassan Ali told reporters at Khartoum airport on Bashir’s return.
Ali who had travelled with Bashir in a high-level delegation to Libya also said Ibrahim now had no option but to return to peace talks in Doha. JEM pulled out this year accusing the government of attacking its positions.
“Khalil has become isolated and the (Sudanese) government defeated him and he has no choice now other than to appear in Doha or remain isolated,” Ali added.
JEM says Ibrahim is not under restrictions in Libya and no longer has any desire to return to Darfur. Libya borders Darfur and Gaddafi had hosted and helped insurgents early in the conflict which began in 2003 when mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms accusing Khartoum of neglect.
Sudan’s counter-insurgency campaign drove more than 2 million Darfuris from their homes sparking one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises which the United Nations estimates has killed 300,000 people.