UN Chief Condemns New Sudan Rebel Alliance

Posted November 14th, 2011 at 8:20 pm (UTC-5)
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The head of the United Nations is speaking out against a rebel alliance in Sudan that says it aims to topple the government of President Omar al-Bashir.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement Monday he condemns the reported establishment of the Sudan Revolutionary Front or SRF. He called on all sides to “refrain from the use of force” and for Sudan and South Sudan to “recommit” to negotiating a settlement on the issues that remain tense between them.

The SRF includes Darfur's most powerful rebel group — the Justice and Equality Movement and the two branches of Sudan Liberation Army. It also includes the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North, a branch of the rebel group that fought for the South during Sudan's long north-south civil war.

The group says it will use “civil political action and armed struggle” to overthrow Mr. Bashir's National Congress Party. In a communique, the SRF says the Bashir government is weakening and will soon implode like what it calls other corrupt regimes in Africa.

Sudan's government has been fighting rebels in Darfur since 2003. Clashes with rebels in the southern border states of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan erupted earlier this year.

Mr. Bashir and his allies have accused newly-independent South Sudan of supporting the rebels, a charge South Sudan denies.

In his statement Monday, Secretary General Ban expressed “deep concern” over the escalation of rhetoric between the two neighbors, and he condemned Sudan's recent bombing of a refugee camp.

South Sudan became independent in July.

Mr. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and genocide in Darfur.