Home | News    Thursday 7 May 2009

No confidence building in Darfur without ceasefire, Sudan

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May 6, 2009 (DOHA) — Sudan said today confidence building measures, such as exchanges of prisoners, could not be reached as long as a ceasefire agreement is not inked with Darfur rebels.

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Darfur mediator, Djibril Bassolé, the Qatari state minister ath the foreign affairs and US envoy to Sudan Scott Gration in Doha during the peace talks between GOS and JEM, May 6, 2009 (QNAOL)

Thanks to the intervention of the US envoy to Sudan Scott Gration, delegations from the Sudanese government and the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) met today in the Qatari capital to discuss ways to resume the Doha peace process.

JEM’s delegation said before its departure they would not re-negotiate the terms of the goodwill agreement and confidence building measures signed on January 17, 2009, which it says the government violated by expelling foreign aid groups.

Amin Hassan Omer, a member of the Sudanese government delegation and Minister of State for Youth and Sports expressed his government’s keenness to develop a time frame for the peace talks between the government and the rebel movements in Darfur, adding it would put an end to the suffering in Darfur and the increasing tension in the region.

Following a meeting today between the Government and JEM delegations in Doha, Omer further said any talk of building confidence without a ceasefire between the parties does not make sense. "We are delighted that talks resume here (in Doha) and we hope the other rebel groups would join this negotiation," he said.

Last February JEM rejected to sign a ceasefire asking Khartoum to implement a series of measures before such cessation of hostilities. Besides the humanitarian demands, the rebel movement said Sudan should release its members who are detained and sentenced to death after an attack on the Sudanese capital.

Then in April JEM suspended its participation in the peace process to protest the eviction of the foreign aid groups. However, Sudan accused the aid workers of cooperation with the International Criminal Court and rejected their return. Also Sudan said it was able to cover the humanitarian gaps.

Omer said that today’s meeting discussed what happened after the signing of the goodwill agreement in Doha and the steps taken by Khartoum. He further asserted the seriousness of his government to achieve peace in Darfur and alleviate the humanitarian situation there.

Further the Sudanese official he pointed out that JEM members detained by the government are save and receive the appropriate treatment. He said that the release will only intervene after the progress of the negotiations and the implementation of a ceasefire.

Amin also hailed the efforts of the US envoy that brought the JEM rebels with him to Doha. He added that the two countries can repeat the positive cooperation in Doha talks and repeat Naivasha Peace negotiations.

The US Special envoy for Sudan told reporters today at the end of the meeting that his country supports efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement in Darfur and negotiated solution to end the conflict.

(ST)

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