June 3, 2008 (CAIRO) — The Arab League called on Darfur rebel groups to commit themselves to the peace process and show more flexibility in order to end the five year violence in the troubled region.
Arab League Assistant Secretary General for African Affairs Zeid al-Sabban called in a statement issued on Tuesday on some Darfuri movements to show the political will to reach the settlement for the Darfur crisis.
The further said that ongoing Arab, African and international efforts proved that the Darfur problem does not lack international or regional support.
Sabban also highlighted the Arab League’s role as a main partner in the peace accord reached in the Nigerian Capital Abuja in May 2006 between the Sudanese government and a former rebel faction led by Minni Minawi.
The SLA-led by Abdel-Wahid an-Nur and the Justice and Equality Movement led by Khalil Ibrahim rejected the peace deal demanding the recognition of the one greater Darfur and individual compensation for the displaced and refugees as well as greater share in the central government.
The AL also proposed to set up development projects to help the displaced Darfuri return to their villages, Sabban added.
The two non signatory movements had rejected a meeting scheduled in Geneva last month to discuss security issues as a priority before to start peace talks. The SLM-Nur says Khartoum should implement the signed ceasefire deals while JEM refuses to see smaller faction involved in the talks.
UN experts estimate some 300,000 people have died and 2.5 million driven from their homes. Sudan blames the Western media for exaggerating the conflict and puts the death toll at 10,000.