March 17, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — Twenty four hour before the signing of a second framework agreement between the government and another rebel group in Doha, the Justice and Equality Movement with other five groups agreed to coordinate their positions and work for unity.
- An armoured column of JEM fighting vehicles drive to a meeting between its leader Khalil Ibrahim, and UN AU Envoys for Darfur April 14, 2008 (Reuters)
Besides JEM, the unity agreement is signed by the Sudan Liberation Movement Unity Command (SLM-Unity), SLM Juba-Unity, the United Revolutionary Forces Front, the Democratic Justice and Equality Movement and breakaway commanders from SLM- Abdel Wahid Al-Nur. These groups were part of Addis Ababa Roadmap group sponsored by the US envoy Gration.
The signatories reiterated the need to reunite the resistance in order to get the rights of Darfur people and extended the invitation to all the forces keen to reach that goal, stressing no just peace deal can be reached without unity.
They further decided in a press release put out on Wednesday to form a joint mechanism "seeking to achieve unity or close coordination". This "mechanism will be in permanent session, and will follow up and implement issues of mutual interest until the completion of the objectives," read the statement.
The deal negotiated in Doha, the venue of Darfur peace process, represents a concession from JEM rebels who in the past rejected coordinating with the other rebels saying only merger in one movement will guarantee the rights of Darfur people during the peace process.
JEM spokesperson Ahmed Hussein Adam told Sudan Tribune that the deal "constitutes another prove of JEM seriousness to bring together freedom fighters in one structure in order to achieve the aspirations of Darfur people".
He further added the move expresses the rejection of ongoing plot to falsify the will of Darfur people, stressing the need to postpone April elections to enable the ongoing efforts in Doha for a comprehensive peace.
The signatories of Doha declaration rejected "categorically to hold the general elections in this difficult time" stressing that the priority should be given to the peace process. They also asked to re-conduct the national census, ensure the public freedoms, reestablish security in Darfur, breaking link between state agencies and the ruling National Congress Party.
The Sudanese government and JEM signed a framework agreement dealing with issues to be discussed between the two parties during the peace talks, but the talks are stalled as the rebel group rejected separate talks with another group formed in Doha, Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) led by Darfur former governor El-Tijani El Sissi.
Sources close to the peace process claim that El-Sissi who is from the Fur tribe, largest ethnic group in the region, could be appointed as vice-president while Khartoum proposed to JEM only the position of presidential assistant.
El-Sissi accepted to lead the new LJM after being approached by a neighboring country which ensured him of its total support. JEM rebels say he had never being part of the rebellion and it could not be accepted to appoint him in such position.
The other rebel leader from the same ethnicity, Abdel Wahid Al-Nur, rejects to join the peace process for the moment asking to disarm the militias and provide security to the civilians.
LJM leader is expected to sign a framework agreement in Doha on Thursday with the Sudanese government. Vice President Ali Osman Taha has arrived to Doha to attend the signing ceremony with the Qatari Prime Minister.