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Darfur peace talks between Sudan and rebel group kick off in Doha

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January 20, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government and a splinter faction of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) have started direct peace talks in Doha, with both parties expressing a willingness to end hostilities in the troubled region of Darfur.

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Mohamed Bashr Ahmed, leader of JEM-DC (ST/file photo)

A group of rebel commanders broke away in September 2012 and signed a goodwill and a cessation of hostilities agreement with the Khartoum government the following month.

The talks had initially been scheduled for December 2012, but were delayed to allow the breakaway group to organise themselves and elect new leadership. The United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) also organised various workshops to prepare the rebel negotiating team ahead of the talks in Qatar.

Sudanese state minister Amin Hassan Omer, who is tasked with implementing the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), told reporters his government is keen to reach a peace agreement with the rebel group in good faith. He further added the two parties are sincere in their desire to end the conflict.

Amin, who negotiated the framework of the agreement with the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), underlined that the DDPD is the document of all the people of Darfur and is also supported by the international community, African Union and Arab League.

JEM, which inaugurated the Doha process in February 2009, refused to sign the DDPD, demanding the text be opened for further talks. However, the government and LJM signed the document on 19 July 2011, along with further agreements on power sharing and security arrangements.

JEM-MC deputy leader and head of the rebel negotiating team Arko Suleiman reaffirmed that the group are peace lovers and keen to end the 10-year conflict in Darfur. He added that they would discuss the seven chapters contained in the peace document with Khartoum to ensure their full implementation.

The issue of displaced civilians and refugees, in addition to other matters, would also be discussed, he said.

Negotiations are set to focus on peace in Darfur and Arko stressed that reaching a just and comprehensive peace agreement in the region would further lead to peace in the whole of Sudan.

In an interview with Sudan Tribune last year, the leader of the rebel faction, Mohamed Bashr Ahmed, blamed Khartoum for not yet implementing a series of measures aimed at preparing for the return of internally displaced civilians (IDPs) and refugees to their villages.

He said they want tangible measures and strong commitments to ensure the IDPs return, payment of compensations and the improvement of security situation in term of protection of civilians.

Sudan announced last week the payment of over $130 million to implement recovery and reconstructions projects in Darfur. Under the terms of the DDPD Khartoum had committed to pay $2 billion, but said the severe economic crisis currently gripping the country had prevented it from honoring its financial commitments.

Qatar state minister for cabinet affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah Mahmoud, who facilitated the DDPD and worked with former joint chief mediator Djibril Bassolé, reaffirmed the seriousness of the two parties to end the long-running conflict.

He said the two parties will decide on the issues to negotiate, pointing out that the mediation team had proposed forming different panels to discuss the various topics included in the DDPD.

He also added that “other groups” had approached them and expressed their desire to join the Doha document but did not elaborate on the identity of these groups.

In 2011, JEM and the two main factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) in Darfur led by Abdel Wahild Al Nur and Minni Minnawi formed an alliance with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) and vowed to overthrow the regime.

(ST)

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  • 21 January 2013 08:14, by panchol

    JEM.
    This how Arabs kill people! why do you accept to sign agreement with Jahaleen who had made a very big genocide all over the world.

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    • 21 January 2013 12:04, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      Very unfair to take gun and killed alot without achieving what you took gun for,all those rebels leaders in Darfur should be brought to justice,they have killed alot of inocent citizen.
      OKUCU PA LOTINOKWAN

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      • 21 January 2013 13:57, by Hardball

        There is no peace talk; that’s an attempt to crashed them after they accepted the peace and come home. The NCP can’t afford to cut-off heads of snakes now but after they come home; heads of snake will be cut-off one by one. Darfur, Kordofans and Blue-Nile please learn from History.

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    • 19 February 2013 07:47, by sochsmjklo

      There are so many aspects to this, and you have opened up another train of thought for me to examine. Thank you for your insight.
      Mike

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    • 8 August 2013 15:50, by WendyHosty

      Prawie ka?dy ma wizytówk?. Je?li masz dobry wygl?d i zawarto?? wi?cej informacji na temat firmy, mo?na za?o?y?, ?e inni j? przeczyta?. Jednym ze sposobów, aby zach?ci? ludzi do czytania karty ci si? jak telefon na kart?.
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    • 10 August 2013 07:36, by edisonleon

      Whiteboard är ett billigt sätt att leverera ditt budskap. Men kom ihåg, att styrelsen inte heller kommer att väcka uppmärksamhet om det verkar skriven av en fem år gammalt barn. Det finns hundratals människor som blir krita konstnärer.
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      • 2 February 15:38, by edisonleon

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        view

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    • 4 September 2013 09:06, by edisonleon

      Nyt on myöspaljon yrityksiä, jotka myyvät täydellinen sivuston suunnittelu on mahtava ja voit ostaa suoraan . He elävät täydentääsisältöä ja laittaayrityksen nimi jatuotteiden ja palveluiden oletoikeassa paikassa .
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  • 21 January 2013 09:00, by barbayo

    you are wasting time ,those Bashir, just understanding language of gun only .

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  • 21 January 2013 09:03, by barbayo

    you are wasting time ,those Bashir, just understanding language of gun only .

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  • 21 January 2013 09:09, by barbayo

    Abdel wad & Mini will do a good job some of JEM .How do you talking with one made goncoid to your people.

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    • 21 January 2013 12:09, by Paul Ongee

      This is another time wasting so-called Doha peace process which is not representational and inclusive. Khartoum is always 24/7 willing to agree but not to implement; again the very people who signed agreements will abandon the National Criminal Party tomorrow and opt for fighting in order to achieve realistic peace not only in Darfur region but the rest of the Sudan. Wish you good luck.

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      • 21 January 2013 12:23, by Paul Ongee

        Apparently, most of the war lords in Darfur want to take the bait----position of the second/third Vice President of the Republic so that Khartoum can lecture the world about its ability to handle domestic issues without external assistance while committing genocide and comfortably settling non-Darfurians in the regions. Massive displacement of the indigenuos people is the basic goal.

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        • 21 January 2013 12:33, by Paul Ongee

          If any rebel group resists any planned massive displacement of the indigenuos people, it should lick its elbow since they are already second-class Muslims because of having African background. It’s contrary to South Sudan who resolved to be free and heavily paid the price of resisting Arabization and Islamization long time ago before 1956.

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  • 21 January 2013 16:25, by zulu

    These are the visionless leaders who pretend to agree, and sign agreements, but fail to honor any bit. The Doha talks, is just an international PR excercise, designed to impress attention, but all along, it is a deceptive action. SPLM/A-N and el Nuri know thes facts because the govenment is avoiding to talk with them.

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