Egypt authorities detain and expel Darfur rebel leaders

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Flag of Sudan
Flag of Sudan

Egypt has expelled several Cairo-based Darfur rebel leaders after their group carried out an attack on the Sudanese city of Omdurman last Saturday. Officials here said that it was no longer feasible to allow the leaders of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to remain in Egypt. “The men were detained on Tuesday and then expelled from the country,” an official, who sought anonymity because he was not authorised to speak, told Panapress. He added that Sudan had pressured Cairo to expel the leaders. “Sudanese authorities were angry at comments one (rebel) member made on a satellite television channel, and they spoke to the Egyptians about it,” he said. The attack on Khartoum was the first time the Darfur conflict was brought so close to the central government, which sparked a wave of criticism and fear of reprisals from Sudan’s government-backed Janjaweed militia in Darfur. Tawer Ali, a Sudanese community leader in Cairo, said the expulsion of the Darfur leaders was necessary from the Egyptian point of view, because it would have been ”too difficult” to allow them to remain in the country. “Egypt is trying to be involved in resolving the Darfur crisis and to have rebel leaders in the country, who are attacking Khartoum, would not have been a good idea for them,” said Ali, who is an adviser and intermediary with the dozens of rebel groups in Cairo.

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