Sudan declares killing of top rebel leader
Sudan's army killed a top rebel leader from the Darfur region on Sunday, state media reported. "The Sudanese army announce that they killed Khalil Ibrahim in fighting today in west Wadbanda, North Kordofan," said the official SUNA news agency.
Ibrahim led the Justice and Equality Movement, the most heavily armed group in the Darfur region.
On Saturday SUNA, quoting army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad, said the military was combing the North Kordofan-North Darfur border area after JEM "attacked civilians" and targeted local leaders while looting their property in the Umm-Gozain, Goz Abyadh and Aramal areas.
Alhough he was an active member of the Islamic movement in Sudan since his early age, Khalil Ibrahim was killed at the hands of the Government who raises Islamic slogans. Khalil Ibrahim was born in a North Darfur village near the border with Chad. He belonged to the Zaghawa tribe, which resides in Sudan and neighboring Chad.
Khalil Ibrahim, who studied medicine at the University of Khartoum, worked as a doctor in Sudan and Saudi Arabia. He was not a prominent figure in the Islamic movement before June 30, 1989 coup that brought the movement to power.
But after the coup, and in the early years of the rule of President Omar al-Bashir, Khalil Ibrahim emerged as a military commander who led the war in southern Sudan, as the commander of the Mujahideen.
It is not known exactly when Ibrahim took the decision to split from the Islamic Movement and declare the insurgency, but it is clear that many of the people of Darfur, who belonged to Khalil, within the Islamic Movement have felt a sense of marginalization.
In the summer of 2003, Khalil Ibrahim announced his rebellion against the Sudanese government and the formation of JEM.
He was expelled last year from Chad following the improvement of the Chadian-Sudanese relations. Khalil then moved to live in Libyan territory, where Colonel Gaddafi has provided him safe haven. However, when he felt the imminent fall of the Gaddafi regime, he returned to Darfur region, where he found his death.