Leader of Sudanese Liberation Army
Minni Arcua Minnawi is the leader of the what once was the largest faction of the Sudanese Liberation Army until it was weakened by dissention and infighting. A former school teacher, Minnawi was the secretary of Sudan Liberation Army leader Abdul Wahid Nur, before the organization split in 2004.
Under Minnawi's leadership, his SLA faction signed a peace agreement, known as the May agreement, with the Khartoum government in May 2006. Nevertheless, fighting has continued with Minnawi's group fighting other SLA factions. In July 2006, fighting broke out around the northern Darfur town Korma, resulting in the deaths of at least 80 people. Minnawi was appointed the top Sudanese official in the Darfur region, as chairman of the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority, and is technically the fourth ranking member of the Presidency, as Senior Assistant to the President of the Republic but has been progessively shut out from power by his "peace partners" of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) of President Omar al-Bashir. Minnawi belongs to the Ila Digen (or Awlad Digayn) clan of the non-Arab Zaghawa people.
On September 14, 2006, Minnawi broke ranks with the Sudanese government when he stated that he does not object to the new UN peacekeeping force detailed in UNSC Resolution 1706.