October 20, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — Leaders of a splinter rebel group of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) arrived to the Qatari capital Doha to consult with mediators on ways to negotiate with the Sudanese government.
- An elderly Sudanese refugee man at the refugee camp of Zamzam, North Darfur April 12, 2010 (Reuters)
Last September, an important group of JEM commanders distanced themselves from their leader Gibril Ibrahim and formed an interim military council led by Mohamed Bashar Ahmed, a cousin of JEM’s president.
Mohamed Bashar told Sudan Tribune last month that the Sudanese government expressed its willingness to negotiate with them, and that President Idris Deby of Chad is facilitating the contacts between the two parties.
Ali Wafi, spokesperson of the military council announced in a statement, that Mohamed Bashar and his deputy Arko Suleiman Dahia had arrived in Doha for consultations with the Qatari minister Ahmed bin Abdallah Al Mahmoud and UNAMID acting chief Aïchatou Mindaoudou Souleymane.
The purpose of the visit is to consult with the mediators about the peace process and challenges it faces, Wafi said adding they also briefed the joint mediation and Qatari leadership about the recent development in the Movement which led to remove its leader and to form an interim military council.
Mohamed Bashar, said last month its willingness to negotiate with Khartoum does not mean that his group will signing of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD). He blamed the government for not implementing the deal. He however praised the efforts of the international community and Qatar to settle the conflict.
Wafi said that that Al-Mahmoud called them to join the peace process stressing that all the parties should be involved in the settlement of the conflict.
Souleymane who is also the acting joint mediator told them that their presence in Doha will revive the interest of the international community towards the settlement of the Darfur crisis, and also explained its role in the peace process.
Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), after a two-year process involving JEM, signed the DDPD on 14 July 2011, while JEM refused to sign the agreement and demanded further talks.
Informed sources told Sudan Tribune that the rebel delegation explained that they have to hold a general conference before to engaging in talks with the government.
The rebels decided last September to hold a general conference to elect a new leadership and to define the political line of the group. The meeting, which may have been held near the Chadian border, also aimed into convince more JEM members to join them.
The splinter military commanders need to attract political cadres who remained loyal to the leader of the group.
In Khartoum, health minister and LJM secretary general Bahar Idriss Abu Garda warned that the DDPD is still facing major challenges and asked the government to implement it before the donors conference in December .
Abu Garda, a former JEM member before he established LJM with elements from other Darfur rebels groups, said the special court of Darfur war crimes is not yet established. He also said the peace document provides that 20% of civil service jobs should be given to Darfuris.
He further underlined the delay in the implementation of the security arrangements that the parties agreed to finalise next November.
On the other hand, Hassan Bargo a leading member of the ruling National Congress Party and head of Darfur organisations network said Saturday that the implementation of the DDPD is suffering from the lack of money .
He urged Qatar to deliver the $2 billion it pledged to grant to Darfur development projects.