Justice and Equality Movement
The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) is a rebel group involved in the
Darfur conflictof Sudan. It is led by Khalil Ibrahim. Along with other rebel groups such as the Sudan Liberation Movement(SLM), they are fighting against the Sudanese National Islamic Frontgovernment. The JEM is also a member of the Eastern Front, a rebel coalition formerly active in the east of Sudan along the Eritrean border. After the Eastern Front signed a peace deal with the central government, the JEM lost access to its funding from Eritrea.
The JEM traces its foundation to the writers of the "", a manuscript published in 2000 that details the structural inequity in the country. JEM espouses an
Islamistideology, and the government links the group to Hassan al-Turabi, although leaders of the group and Turabi himself deny the claim. [http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/BDE0F12D-A1E8-40BA-A522-A214A30FA0CE.htm Al-Turabi denies stirring Darfur conflict] ( Al-Jazeera) 31 December 2003] However, al-Turabi blames the government for "aggravating the situation."
January 20, 2006, the Justice and Equality Movement declared a merger with the Sudan Liberation Movement, along with other rebel groups, to form the Alliance of Revolutionary Forces of West Sudan. However, the JEM and SLM negotiated as separate groups with peace talks with the government in May 2006.
In October 2007, the JEM attacked the Defra oilfield in the
Kordofanregion of Sudan. The Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company, a Chinese-led consortium, controls the field. The next month, a group of 135 Chinese engineers arrived in Darfur to work on the Defra field. Ibrahim told reporters, "We oppose them coming because the Chinese are not interested in human rights. It is just interested in Sudan's resources." The JEM claims that the revenue from oil sold to China funds the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed militia.cite web| title= Darfur rebels spurn Chinese force | publisher=British Broadcasting Corporation | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7111206.stm | date= 2007-11-24| accessdate=2007-11-24 ]
On the morning of
December 11 2007, Khalil Ibrahim claimed that JEM forces fought and defeated Sudanese government troops guarding a Chinese-run oilfield in the Kordofanregion. Khartoumofficials, however, denied that any oil fields had come under attack. Ibrahim said that the attack was part of a JEM campaign to rid Sudan of Chinese-run oilfields and stated that " [The JEM] want all Chinese companies to leave. They have been warned many times. They should not be there."cite web| title= Sudan rebels 'attack oilfield' | publisher=Al Jazeera English| url=http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/7BD4ADA2-8B0F-4D4B-B673-A836027DA78B.htm | date= 2007-12-11| accessdate=2007-12-11 ]
On May 11, 2008 JEM attacked the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. The government declared victory, saying that the attack had been repelled and leading members of the group had been killed, although the JEM said that the attack was successful.
Eltahir Elkaki, the General Secretary of JEM's legislative council, vowed that the war would henceforth be fought across the country, saying that "We haven't changed our tactics. From the beginning, Jem is a national movement and it has a national agenda." [ [http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/51DF8D2C-009B-4262-BCC2-C59F07219ABB.htm "Sudan 'repulses' rebel attack"] , Al Jazeera, May 11, 2008.] Khalil Ibrahim declared that "This is just the start of a process and the end is the termination of this regime". [ [http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/A0C807C2-F75E-4E95-8BFD-F1BFE716CD77.htm "Sudan leader 'terrified' by arrest"] , Al Jazeera, May 13, 2008.]
Notes and references
* [http://www.sudanjem.com/en/index.php Justice and Equality Movement]
* [http://pinr.com/report.php?ac=view_report&report_id=692&language_id=1 Upcoming Peace Talks Will Not Solve the Complex Darfur Problem] , The Power and Interest News Report
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/para/darfur.htm Darfur conflict]
* BBC background on the SLA and JEM: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3702242.stm]
* BBC Darfur on the brink of new conflict as the SLA now joins the government fighting against rebel groups including the JEM: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/5311998.stm]
* [http://www.sudanjem.com/en/index.php Justice and Equality Movement] The JEM's homepage
* [http://www.gnpoc.com/home.asp] - Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company's website.
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