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JEM holds talks with Qataris over Darfur peace process

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December 2, 2008 (DOHA) — The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has started a series of meeting with the Qatari officials in order to exchange views over the peace process that Doha intends to sponsor between Khartoum and the rebel movement in Darfur.

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Ahmed Hussein Adam

A delegation composed of Tahir Al-Faki, Jibril Ibrahim, Ahmed Hussein Adam and Khatab Widaa arrived to the Qatari capital to deliver a message from JEM chairman Khalil Ibrahim to the Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al Thani.

The spokesperson of the rebel movement, Ahmed Hussein Adam told Sudan Tribune from Doha that the message deals with the JEM vision on the peace process. The delegation handed it to the Qatari State Minister for Foreign Affair Ahmed bin Abdullah al Mahmoud on Monday.

Adam said that JEM has formulated a comprehensive vision on the topics and procedures that the mediators could consider for the process. The delegation is expected to meet again with the Qatari official on Wednesday to discuss the paper.

JEM was very critical for the former team of mediation on Darfur crisis for the lack of consultations with the rebel movements on the organisation of the peace negotiations. They also accused the two mediators of only dealing only with Khartoum.

Last month the Qatari state foreign minister held talks with the JEM chairman in a location close to the border with Chad on Thursday November 6. Ibrahim pledged to send a delegation to discuss the mediation but cautioned that this step would not signify they accept to negotiate with Khartoum under the Qatari sponsorship.

"We are here to discuss the Qatari mediation and to exchange views over the process but yet we have to take our decision," JEM spokesperson said from Doha.

Darfur rebels have expressed reserves over the Qatari mediation because it comes as result of an Arab initiative last September to bring peace to Darfur. The Arab move, which come after the indictment of the Sudanese president by the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor last July, is seen by the rebels as attempt to help President Al-Bashir to avoid ICC arrest warrant.

Ahmed Hussein Adam said JEM believes that the peace process should not be mixed with the ICC efforts on Darfur crimes.

He also said that the Sudanese government before the talks has to create conducive environment to prove its good faith and seriousness.

"Khartoum has to stop IDPs harassment as well as bombardment of civilians; also the authorities should stop hindering the activities of aid workers." Adam said.

He further added "Sudan should release any prisoner detained in events related to Darfur."

Following a raid on Khartoum last May, the Sudanese courts sentenced to death dozens of JEM fighters including Abdel Aziz Asher the brother of Khalil Ibrahim the leader of the rebel group. However, the issue was discussed during large consultation held in Khartoum last month but the ruling NCP seemed not willing to respond to this demand.

Ahmed also said they met with joint mediator, the French and Norwegian envoys to Darfur who are in the Qatari capital.

(ST)

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