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Washington workshop should focus on Doha document for peace in Darfur - LJM

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November 8, 2011 (KHARTOUM) — The Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) said will attend a workshop on peace in Darfur scheduled next week in Washington but warned that the dialogue with holdout rebels should be based on the Doha document for peace in Darfur (DDPD).

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Presidential adviser Ghazi Salah Al-Deen (L-R) and LJM leader Al-Tijani El-Sissi hold the text of the DDPD after the signing in Doha on the 14 July (Photo: UNAMID)

US Institute for peace with the State Department organise a workshop next week (14-15 November) in Washington entitled ’The State and Direction of the Peace Process.’ The meeting is thought to discuss the way forward after a peace agreement signed in Doha by the Sudanese government and LJM on 14 July.

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), which is part of the process refused to endorse the framework text and sign a peace agreement with Khartoum. The rebel group requests to open the DDPD for talks but the government rejects such demand.

Speaking to Ashorooq TV on Tuesday, LJM head of political committee and former top negotiator Tadjeldine Niam confirmed the participation of his movement in the workshop stressing it provide an opportunity to narrow the caps with the non signatories and to reach a common ground.

Niam however underlined that such dialogue should be based on the DDPD because it is a "document approved by the people of Sudan." He was referring to the stakeholders conference held in Doha last May. At the meeting, civil society groups, tribal leaders and representatives of the displaced and refugees endorsed the framework document and called the parties to sign peace agreement based on this text.

Since the stakeholders conference, the US special envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman announced his support to the document but he said the document should serve as basis for future talks with the holdout groups in order to achieve a comprehensive peace in Darfur.

Presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie immediately refused the demand and accused Washington of supporting the positions of the non signatory rebels who according the Sudanese official are not interested in peace but regime change.

When the US administration announced the workshop, the Sudanese government said it will not attend the meeting but said it would determine its position from the meeting once its outcome is released.

JEM and Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minnawi are expected to attend the two day meeting. The former peace mediator Djibril Bassole and head of the follow-up committee Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmound are expected to attend the meeting besides different international envoys.

The meeting will discuss in the second day some perspectives to encourage further talks between the government and rebel groups. Lyman and the UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari are expected to provide some ideas on the future negotiations.

American officials say peace in Darfur should be part of broader strategy for peace in the country. The eight year conflict is seen as destabilising factor for regional stability and particularly for relations between Sudan and South Sudan.

(ST)

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