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Darfur rebel chief dismisses Bashir statements on French pressure

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December 1, 2008 (PARIS) — A Darfur rebel leader has dismissed statements by Sudanese President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir in which he said that France would press him to take part in peace talks mediated by the Qatari government.

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A picture taken on August 13, 2007 shows the leader of Sudan Liberation Movement Abdel Wahid Mohammed Nur addressing journalists after a meeting with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade at Wade’s residence in Paris (AFP)

“It would be better for him [Al-Bashir] to create conducive environment instead of such unproductive declarations” Abdel-Wahid Al-Nur, leader of Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) told Sudan Tribune today.

Yesterday Al-Bashir was quoted as saying that his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to pressure Al-Nur to attend any future peace talks. The two presidents had met on November 28 on the sidelines of a UN meeting on development held in the Arab Gulf state of Qatar.

“I told him that the Darfur tragedy has now gone on for too long, that he must take initiatives and change things" the French president told reporters after his meeting.

Al-Nur, who is the founder of the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), urged Al-Bashir to prove his seriousness for peace “by halting the killing of the innocent civilians, the rape of women and to disarm the government backed militias”.

The SLM leader further said Bashir’s statements are “lip service” and would not change his movement’s stance on the peace process. "The embattled president actually wants to persuade President Sarkozy to vote in favor of suspending his indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) more than to achieve peace in Darfur," he underscored.

Khartoum has been lobbying Paris in its bid to defer the indictment of Al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In mid-July the ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno- Ocampo filed 10 charges: three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder and accused Al-Bashir of masterminding a campaign to get rid of the African tribes in Darfur; Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa.

The African Union, Arab League, Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) called for invoking Article 16 which allows the UNSC to suspend the ICC prosecutions in any case for a period of 12 months that can be renewed indefinitely.

But Western members of the UNSC such as US and France made it clear that they would veto such a resolution was introduced at this point in time.

The rebel chief said his movement would not participate in any peace talks unless Khartoum implement a set of demands he labeled as "Conflict suspension" where he demands implementation of a ceasefire signed in April 2004, militias disarmament, return of IDPs to their villages and expulsion of newcomers who settled in the IDPs areas.

The SLM rejected the signing of Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) over the issues of individual compensation, establishment of one region in Darfur instead of the current three states and more political representation of Darfuris in the national institutions including a vice-presidency for Darfur.

Al-Nur said since he is in France, "the Republic of democracy and human rights", he had never ever been subjected to any pressure.

He stressed his demands for the state to provide security to its citizens, a matter that according to him is one of the main reasons d’être of the state as institution. He further added that no one in France or elsewhere would differ with him over that.

The rebel figure hailed the statements made by Sarkozy after his meeting last weekend in Doha about the need to stop the conflict and undertake serious steps to achieve peace in Darfur.

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.

(ST)

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  • 2 December 2008 07:38, by Freedom Fighter

    Watch out this man, he may be Garang number 2. He is so opinionated, stands firm, and can’t be swayed by seasonal storms. Mr. Al-Nur you’re the man. You and Dr. Garang will be remembered forever.

    repondre message

    • 2 December 2008 08:04, by Dinka Bush

      Mr Al Nur, never give any chance to these treacherous Arabs. They don’t belief in any manner related to peace. Tighten your tactics and never forget to cooperate with SPLM in this process of struggle for liberation.

      The struggle continues..

      LONG LIVE SLM..... LONG LIVE DARFUR..... LONG LIVE AL NUR

      View online : http://www.sudantribune.com

      repondre message

      • 2 December 2008 09:00, by reech peter thiel

        Thank you indeed Mr Al Nur for being courageous and never give a chance to that stupid Bashir which always fool around.

        repondre message

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