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Sudan Militia Leader Links Regime to Crisis

Musa Hilal’s interview with a rights group contradicts Khartoum’s claim that it is not involved in violence against Darfur villagers. top Sudanese tribal leader accused of committing war crimes in his country’s western Darfur area said the government had backed and directed his activities, contradicting officials’ claims that they had no links to local militia violence in the region. In a four-hour videotaped interview with Human Rights Watch made public Wednesday, militia leader Musa Hilal said his group of fighters didn’t act alone but followed orders from Sudan’s government and military. “All of the people in the field are led by top army commanders,” he told investigators with the rights group in the fall. “These people get their orders from the western command center and from Khartoum,” the capital. He denied having a leadership role in the military or committing atrocities. “I mobilize people, I coordinate with recruiters. I’ve been with the PDF [official militia] commanders, but I was never a commander of troops in a war zone,” he said. Full Story

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