March 18, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government and the Justice and Equality Movement of Mohamed Bashar (JEM-Bashar) entered a decisive phase this week in their negotiations to reach a peace agreement, a rebel official said.
Nahar Osman, JEM-Bashar presidential adviser and a member of the negotiating team said this week will determine that the fate of the talks as the parties have finalised their discussions on the different chapters of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).
"We are at the crossroad. All our positions are now known", he said from Doha as the parties are under pressure to conclude the talks before a donor conference to be held on 7 and 8 April in the Qatari capital.
Since the beginning of the talks, JEM-Bashar rebels said they want to improve the framework document and to have means ensuring its effective implementations particularly on issues related to justice, compensation for affected civilians and wealth sharing.
Nahar pointed out that the government delegation agreed with them on many point they raised during the talks mainly the establishment of four new bodies related to the management of cattle keepers and pastoralists issues, university students fund, small business credit, and a fund for social care.
"But Khartoum negotiating team says the government has no money and is forced to implement severe austerity measures reducing the spending", he said.
The rebel adviser suggested that government can reduce its military spending which reached some 70% of the national budget, stressing that these projects "will not reach even 20% of Sudan’s budget".
The two parties discussed the power sharing chapter which will determine the number of ministerial posts and positions in the national government and Darfur to be allocated to JEM Bashar.
Referring to this chapter, Nahar said the government proposed a number of posts at all the levels for their group but they demand to have "positions allowing them to implement issues they discussed and agreed during the talks”, he said.
He also spoke about the security arrangements negotiations emphasising that any agreement on this sensitive issue should include a period to train their troops before to integrate in the army.