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Darfur rebel factions unite under new umbrella in Doha

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February 23, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – Ten Darfur rebel groups currently in the Arab Gulf state of Qatar announced today that they have joined together under a new umbrella called ‘The Liberation Movement for Justice’ removing one of the major obstacles that faced the mediators in Doha as they attempted to jumpstart peace talks with the Sudanese government to resolve the seven year conflict.

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Sudanese President omer Al Bashir (C) moves to greet Khalil Ibrahim, leader of the rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), after the signing of a framework agreement in Doha February 23, 2010. (Reuters)

The Sudan Liberation Movement Revolutionary forces (SLM-RF) which includes six factions, United Resistance Forces (URF), Sudan Liberation Movement-Mainstream (SLM-M), Democratic Sudan Liberation Movement (D-SLM) and Democratic Justice and Equality Movement (D-JEM).

Today’s imminent signature of the framework agreement between Khartoum and JEM has apparently acted as a catalyst in this move which has faced stiff resistance through the years as splintering groups grew in numbers.

However, four other groups refused to join the new umbrella including SLM faction of Ahmed Abdel-Shafi, SLM-Unity, Revolutionary Forces Front, SLM faction led by Abdullah Khalil. These movements comprise mainly of Addis Ababa factions brought together by US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration.

Mahjoub Hussein who is the Secretary General of ‘The Liberation Movement for Justice’ said during a press conference that they will not be a party to the JEM-Khartoum accord signed today and that they will sign their own framework agreement in the coming days.

He called on all groups including those who categorically refused to join them to unite expressing hope that this will materialize noting that they have not left Qatar yet.

The SLM faction led by Abdullah Khalil has revealed that the appointment of Al-Tigani Al-Sissi to lead the new umbrella is not acceptable and was pressured by “influential states” to accept that against their will in a clear reference to the US.

Separately, Ibrahim Ping the Secretary General breakaway faction of JEM led by Idris Azrag has announced that the latter is removed from his duties an criticizing him for statements directed at the mediation team.

But Azrag on his end described Ping as a hijacker of the movement and reiterating that he will not join ‘The Liberation Movement for Justice’.

Some observers express concern that JEM will fiercely resist adding its foes to the peace deal threatening to unravel the delicate process put in place. JEM has insisted that all groups present in Doha merge under its umbrella and refused otherwise any coordination with them at the negotiating table.

(ST)

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  • 24 February 2010 15:34, by choldit

    God what happening in the Sudan? The North Sudan with the help of Arab world and some Western countries may be helping Bashier ensalving African Sudanese.

    The Southern Sudan should be involved to spot deceiptions made by Bashier’s group.

    repondre message

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