June 26, 2011 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese government and Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) agreed to delay the referendum on Darfur administrative status for one year after the signing of a peace agreement, as others issues remain unresolved.
Since Darfur stakeholders conference the two parties pledged to reach a peace agreement despite the divergences on power sharing and security arrangements they failed to bridge since November 2010.
In a bid to break the deadlock unilaterally Khartoum announced that the referendum will be held in July, during the rainy season in the restive region of Darfur.
"We agreed to conduct the referendum one year after the signing of the peace agreement," said Tadjeldine Niam LJM top negotiator who underlined that the agreement was concluded on Sunday in a meeting between the two sides held in Doha.
"The President of the Republic in coordination with the head of Darfur Regional Authority will establish the referendum commission which will determine its date," he said.
"The outcome of the plebiscite will be incorporated in the permanent constitution," Niam further stressed.
The African Union, Arab League and the United Nations declared their support to the Doha Peace Document as basis for negotiations between the parties and urged the other rebel groups to join the process and negotiate a peaceful settlement to end the eight year armed conflict in Darfur.
The head of the government negotiating delegation Amin Hassan Omer, Sunday reiterated Sudan’s rejection to hold talks on all the chapters of the framework document with the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) saying was not serious to reach a negotiated deal.
Amin said they can only discuss the security arrangement to integrate the combatants of the rebel groups and to discuss their participation in the national and Darfur institutions.
Niam said the government accepted to give Darfur rebel groups the remaining seats in the National Assembly after the departure of Southern Sudan representatives as the region opted for secession.
He however said the two parties still disagree on the description of the members of Darfur Regional Authority. The NCP led government says they should be named as “secretary” while LJM rebels ask to call them "ministers".
The Sudanese government said a peace agreement should be signed before the 4th of July but seemingly the agreement would intervene during the last two weeks as the mediation still has to seek a compromise on the appointment of a vice president from Darfur region.
Sudanese government agreed to appoint a vice-president from the region but said only the president will choose a deputy from Darfur without any restrictions.