Home | News    Monday 25 January 2010

JEM rebels want unity with other groups before Darfur peace talks

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January 24, 2010 (DOHA) — The Justice and Equality Movement expressed readiness to hold parallel consultations with the other rebel groups in order to establish one movement before engaging in peace talks with the Sudanese government to end the armed conflict in Darfur.

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The Joint Chief Mediator Djibril Bassole (L) and the Qatari state minister for foreign affairs Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud

JEM rebels reject the participation of the rebel coalitions formed in Tripoli and Addis Ababa in the Doha-based negotiations, saying they have no real presence on the ground in Darfur as they are just backed by some regional and international forces to obstruct a just and lasting solution to the seven year conflict.

This announcement comes after intense consultations held by the mediation to manage direct talks between the parties.

"We are ready to consult here in Doha with the other factions in order to have one delegation and to continue talks on the ground with them in order to establish one movement before concluding a peace agreement with the government", said Ahmed Hussein Adam, the JEM spokesperson speaking from Doha.

He added that JEM has already integrated more than 22 factions in the past.

Ahmed said they have no objection to sit at the negotiating table with the government, restating JEM’s commitment to a political solution but he added they want to first determine the parties who should participate in the negotiations.

During a meeting with the same rebel factions held in Tripoli, Libya, last year JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim made a similar proposal but the other rebels declined the offer.

Initially JEM had asked for the resumption of peace talks alongside only one other rebel party, the Sudan Liberation Movement of Abdel Wahid Al-Nur (SLA-AW), which had been involved in the Abuja peace talks in 2006. At the time, JEM and SLA-AW refused to sign a peace agreement accepted then by Minni Minnawi, another SLA leader.

The head of the government negotiating team state minister Amin Hassan Omer said in press statements after a meeting with the mediation they are willing to hold talks with any group ready to negotiate. He further said JEM rebels have no right to determine who will participate and who will not stressing that only the mediation can decide on the issue.

However the Sudanese official said they informed the mediation that the talks should not be extended beyond the third week of March due to the electoral process scheduled to take place in the country for April 11.

"There will be no one who wants to continue because it would make no sense to hold a deal with the Government of National Unity that no one knows will return after the elections or in the same form and structure, or whether another government will replace it," the state minister said.

"We do not believe that the negotiations need two months or even a month because the outstanding issues are limited and known to everyone and if parties show the political will the solution does not need a week or two," he added.

The Qatari State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud, following the consultations with the government and JEM delegations said they have to complete the consultations with the other rebel groups before deciding whether or not to hold direct talks between the two parties as the participation of the groups formed at Addis Ababa and Tripoli paralyzes the process.

He also stressed that the mediation team understands the complexity of the problem and is ready to work patiently to reach a solution for the problem.

"As I said before, the mediation knows from the outset that the issue is not easy and requires time and patience. We know that the Darfur problem is one of the most intractable problems of this century, but we also know that they are stakeholders and are keen to solve their problem and we are helping and doing everything we can. So, these meetings aim to reach common ground [before launching the talks]," Al-Mahmoud said.

Meanwhile, the SLM of Ahmed Abdel Sahfi left Doha today saying in a statement to Sudan Tribune they proposed to hold a meeting for all the leaders of the rebel groups to achieve unity. The rebel group further said they requested to postpone the talks.

"The Delegation reiterated its call for postponement of negotiations in order to enable the resistance factions to complete the unity process," said Ahmed Fadel Abdallah, the spokesperson of SLM-Abdel Shafi.

Also, the United Resistance Front of Bahar Idriss Abu Garda said its delegation will arrive on Monday to Doha for consultations with the mediation in order "to reach a formula to unify the visions of revolutionary forces in Darfur, and then discuss ways of a just solution to the Darfur issue."

The mediation said in a press release it put out today that preparations are going on to hold local meetings in Darfur in order to expand the representation of civil society, which began in Doha in November last year in order to complete its structures and enable the Darfurian communities to participate in the peace process.

The mediation had postponed a meeting for Darfur civil society to allow the participation of more displaced people and refugees in eastern Chad.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 25 January 2010 06:18, by kuminyandi

    My appreciations go to State of Qatar for its commitment to bring peace to Darfur. I hope that the next round shall be resourceful towards everlasting peace in our western region. Again, thanks to Qatar.

    Kumi,

    repondre message

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