Main Darfur Rebel Group Names New Leader

Posted January 26th, 2012 at 5:55 am (UTC-5)
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The main rebel group in Sudan's Darfur region has named the brother of its recently slain leader to head the movement.

The Justice and Equality Movement on Thursday said it elected Gibril Ibrahim, a former university professor, to be its chairman.

He is the brother of Khalil Ibrahim, who was killed in a Sudanese government airstrike last month.

Officials say the decision was made at a two-day meeting attended by over 100 JEM leaders in Sudan's Southern Kordofan state.

Some observers had predicted Khalil Ibrahim's death would splinter the JEM into several rival factions. But officials on Thursday dismissed the possibility.

The leaders said they agreed to continue coordinating with other rebel groups to topple the Sudanese government.

JEM and other Darfur-based rebel groups launched their anti-government campaign in 2003. The rebels and United Nations accuse Sudan of turning pro-government Arab militias against civilians in Darfur, killing hundreds of thousands and leaving many more homeless.

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for alleged crimes against humanity committed during the conflict.