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Darfur’s Strongest Rebel Group Elects New Chief

The strongest rebel group in Sudan’s Darfur region will press efforts to overthrow the country’s Arab-dominated government after electing the brother of its slain leader as chairman, a rebel official said on Thursday. Last month, government forces killed Khalil Ibrahim, head of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), dealing a heavy blow to Darfur’s nearly decade-long insurgency in which hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed as a result of the violence.

According to Reuters Africa:

JEM’s spokesman Gibreel Adam Bilal played down [the possibility of the group dismantling], saying over 100 of the group’s leaders from inside and outside Sudan met in the South Kordofan state on January 24 and 25, and elected Ibrahim’s brother as their new chief.

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An alliance known as the Sudanese Revolutionary Front between JEM and other insurgents in Darfur and two border states would also continue, he said.

“The leaders elected Dr. Jibril Ibrahim as chairman of the Movement, and decided to continue on the same route to depose the government and coordinate with the Revolutionary Front to achieve this goal,” Bilal said by satellite phone.

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