April 7, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s first vice president, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, warned Darfur rebels who didn’t join the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) that they are running out of time, asserting that people in Darfur, Sudanese people, Sudan’s government, and the international community would not allow them to hinder peace and development in the region.
- Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha attends the International Donors Conference for Reconstruction and Development in Darfur, in Doha on April 7, 2013. (AFP/Getty Images)
Taha, who was addressing the opening session of the International Donor Conference for Reconstruction and Development in Darfur (IDCRDD) amid a large regional and international presence in Doha, called upon rebels to take a historic decision to join peace efforts.
The Sudanese 1st VP described the conference as a new and promising start for development and investment in Darfur, pointing to his government’s continuing efforts to achieve peace despite difficulties and obstacles.
Taha announced that a monitoring mechanism will be set up to ensure that money being collected from donors is dispersed in real projects that would benefit people in Darfur and contribute to sustaining peace and development.
The Sudanese official asserted his government’s commitment to offer $ 2 billion for Darfur according to the six-year plan, expressing hope that it contributes to improving national economy. He announced fulfillment of his government’s pledge stipulated in the DDPD to place $200 million at the disposal of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA).
The chairman of DRA, Tijani Al-Sissi, for his part, declared that the DRA will organize a conference on investment in Darfur at the end of this year in response to the strong desire shown by foreign capital to invest in Darfur, expressing his hope that the conference will be a gateway to explore the many opportunities available to investors in Darfur.
In the same context, the Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, emphasized his country’s support for donor conference hoping for its success.
He mentioned that the DDPD was met with significant international support saying that war was effectively over and what remains of it is only skirmishes, reiterating Qatar’s commitment to contribute $34 million to building the first stage of villages of voluntary return and $529 million to the second stage, calling upon all Sudanese parties to meet obligations of the peace process.
The donor conference aims at raising funds to implement the DDPD which was finalized at the All Darfur Stakeholders Conference in May 2011 in Doha.
In mid-July the Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) led by al-Sissi signed a protocol agreement committing them to the document.
The Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) and Abdel-Wahid Nur (SLM-AW) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) refused to sign the accord and remain at war with Khartoum.
Darfur rebel groups rejected the DDPD describing it as "partial solution" and demanded a holistic approach for the Sudanese problem. In November 2011, they founded with the Sudan people’s Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N) an alliance, calling to topple the regime by all means.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the conflict in Sudan’s troubled western region, where ongoing violence continues to take a terrible human toll.
The United Nations has estimated that around 300,000 people have died during the conflict in Darfur, while some 2 million people have been displaced. Khartoum puts the death toll at 10,000.