Justice and Equality Movement
The Justice and Equality Movement (abbreviated JEM; Arabic: حركة العدل والمساواة, Ḥarakat al-ʿAdl wal-musāwāh ) is a Sudanese opposition group founded by Khalil Ibrahim, the group has been led since January 2012 by his brother Gibril Ibrahim, as Khalil was killed in December 2011. JEM's political agenda includes issues such as: radical and comprehensive constitutional reform to grant Sudan's regions a greater share of power in ruling the country (one point of this is a rotating presidency), the replacement of social injustice and political tyranny with justice and equality, and basic services for every Sudanese.
|Justice and Equality Movement|
حركة العدل والمساواةParticipant in the War in Darfur, the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile and the Libyan Civil War (2014–present)
|Leaders||Khalil Ibrahim (2000–2011)|
Gibril Ibrahim (2012–present)
|Area of operations||Darfur & Kurdufan, Sudan|
|Part of||Sudan Revolutionary Front|
|Allies||Sudan Liberation Movement/Army|
Liberation and Justice Movement
|Opponent(s)||Sudanese Armed Forces|
|Battles and war(s)||War in Darfur|
Sudanese conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile
Libyan Civil War (2014–present)
|War in Darfur|
Formation and organization
The beginnings of the Justice and Equality Movement trace to the writers of the Black Book, a manuscript published in 2000 that details what it views as the structural inequality in the country; the JEM founder, Khalil Ibrahim, was one of the authors. JEM advocates replacing the dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir and the ruling Congress Party with a civil, democratic state that respects the rights of Sudan's various ethnic groups, women, and youth. The JEM further committed itself to these principles when it signed the New Dawn Charter in January 2013.
JEM claim to possesses forces numbering around 35,000 and an ethnically diverse membership. According to critics it is not the "rainbow of tribes" it claims to be, as most JEM members, including its leader, are from the Zaghawa tribe. JEM is part of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), an alliance of groups opposed to the government in Khartoum that include the Sudan Liberation Movement(Abdul Wahed), the Sudan Liberation Movement (Minnawi), and the Sudan Liberation Movement - North.
History of attacks
Raids on Haskanita
In the September and October 2007 raids on Haskanita JEM units attacked the African Union Mission in Sudan. Three JEM leaders, Bahr Idriss Abu Garda, Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus, were charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of war crimes. The case against Garda was dropped due to lack of evidence and the case against Jerbo was dropped after his presumed death on 19 April 2013. As of June 2019, Banda was considered a fugitive by the ICC.
Oilfield attacks and anti-government operations
In October 2007, the JEM attacked the Defra oilfield in the Kordofan region 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. [They are] 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.
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 Kordofan region. Khartoum officials, 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."
2008–2013 Khartoum attack and continued battles
In May 2008, JEM engaged in its most famous operation against the Sudanese government when it attacked the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. JEM's advance recorded many impressive gains which included temporarily controlling the city of Omdurman, the airport at the Wadi Sayedna military base, 10 miles (16 km) north of Khartoum, and three bridges leading into the capital. The operation ended with heavy battles in the western part of the Sudanese capital that included the government's use of army helicopters to repel the JEM advance. Following this battle, Eltahir Elfaki, 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." Khalil Ibrahim declared that "This is just the start of a process and the end is the termination of this regime".
In April 2013, JEM and its allies in the Sudan Revolutionary Front engaged in many successful attacks against Sudanese government forces. In a raid coordinated between all the parties of the SRF that included the use of 20 vehicles, the opposition forces briefly held the strategic city of Um Rawaba in North Kordofan, located 300 miles (480 km) south of Khartoum. As part of the offensive, JEM and the SRF also gained control of Abu Korshola, a strategic town of 40,000 in South Kordofan. In its bid to retake control, the Sudanese Armed Forces engaged in indiscriminate air raid campaigns. On May 27, the opposition forces withdrew in order to allow humanitarian aid to be delivered to the area's residents. During 2013, opposition forces continued to engage in offensive operations, leading to dozens of casualties for Sudanese forces around Abu Korshola.
Notes and references
- "Libya on the Brink of a Full-blown Civil War?". Middle East briefing. III (144). 2016-09-22. Archived from the original on 2016-11-21. Retrieved 2019-11-01.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
- "Who are Sudan's Jem rebels?" Al Jazeera
- BBC Staff (24 February 2009) "Who are Sudan's Darfur rebels?" BBC News
- "Darfur's strongest rebel group elects new chief" Reuters, 26 January 2012 https://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/26/ozatp-sudan-darfurr-idAFJOE80P05T20120126
- Uppsala Conflict Data Program Conflict Encyclopedia, Sudan, General Non-state conflict Information, JEM, Actor Description, viewed 25 July 2013, http://www.ucdp.uu.se/gpdatabase/gpcountry.php?id=145®ionSelect=1-Northern_Africa#
- Sudan Tribune, New Dawn agreement is strategic breakthrough for Sudan, JEM, 15 January 2013 http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article45202
- The New Dawn Charter represents a crucial moment for Sudan, Sudan Tribune, 10 January 2013
- First Darfur rebel to appear before Hague court, Reuters, 2009-05-17
- ICC Case Information Sheet on the Banda and Jerbo proceedings Archived 2011-10-28 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 6 July 2011.
- "The Prosecutor v. Bahar Idriss Abu Garda". International Criminal Court. 2010-04-23. Archived from the original on 2012-04-03. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
- "Situation in Darfur, Sudan in the case of The Prosecutor v. Abdallah Band Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus" (PDF). International Criminal Court. 2013-10-04. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-06-08. Retrieved 2019-06-09.
- Bensouda, Fatou (2019-06-19). "Statement to the United Nations Security Council on the Situation in Darfur, pursuant to UNSCR 1593 (2005)". International Criminal Court. Archived from the original on 2019-06-19. Retrieved 2019-06-19.
- "Darfur rebels spurn Chinese force". British Broadcasting Corporation. 2007-11-24. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
- "Sudan rebels 'attack oilfield'". Al Jazeera English. 2007-12-11. Archived from the original on 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
- Steve Bloomfield, The Independent, Darfur rebels poised to take Khartoum, 11 May 2008
- "Sudan 'repulses' rebel attack", Al Jazeera, May 11, 2008.
- "Sudan leader 'terrified' by arrest", Al Jazeera, May 13, 2008.
- Reuters, Sudan rebels attack city, push closer to capital, 27 April 2013
- Reuters, Sudan's army seizes back town from rebels in oil state, 27 May 2013
- Enough Project, Civilians Caught in the Crossfire: The Bombing of Abu Kershola and Ad Dandour, 10 June 2013,
- Reuters, Sudan's army seizes back town from rebels in oil state, 27 May 2013
- Radio Dabanga, ‘SRF kill 14 Sudan government troops in blitz on Abu Karshola, South Kordofan’: Rebels, 9 June 2013, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-15. Retrieved 2014-11-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Radio Dabanga, Sudan rebel attack on Abu Karshola ‘kills 30 SAF, downs chopper’, 31 May 2013 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-15. Retrieved 2014-11-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)