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(Reuters) – Sudanese President Omar Bashir has ordered “complete mobilization” to disarm all illegal armed groups in the western region of Darfur, including the Arab militias who have been harassing African villagers. A statement released by the Sudanese presidency yesterday said all government agencies should mobilize “to control and pursue all outlaw groups, including rebels and Janjaweed…, disarm the outlaws and present them to justice and prevent any groups from crossing into neighboring Chad ”. The Janjaweed is the local word for the Arab militias whom the Darfur rebels blame for much of the conflict in the region. The rebels say the government has backed the Janjaweed but the government has repeatedly denied that. International organizations have criticized the Sudanese government for failing to control the militias, who have driven hundreds of thousands of Africans out of their villages into camps for displaced persons or into exile in Chad . The United States threatened on Friday to impose sanctions on Sudanese officials as a way of intensifying the pressure to help ease a humanitarian crisis in Darfur . The State Department is studying whether the militias are responsible for genocide in Sudan and if it can impose sanctions on individual officials, spokesman Adam Ereli told reporters. The Sudanese announcement implied a tougher line against the Janjaweed and a more balanced policy towards the conflict. Government officials have previously said it would be difficult to disarm the Arab militias as long as the two main groups — the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement — were active in the region. It also answers Chadian complaints about Janjaweed incursions into Chadian territory. A source close to Chadian President Idriss Deby said on Friday the Chadian Army killed 69 Janjaweed in a clash near the border on Thursday. The presidential statement also said that the judicial authorities in Darfur should set up prosecution offices and courts to prosecute plunder gangs and criminals “without delay”.