August 19, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The joint chief mediator for peace in Darfur Mohamed Chambas organizes a consultations meeting Tuesday in Arusha, northern Tanzania, with the hold-out rebel groups in a bid to step up efforts to end the 10-year conflict in western Sudan.
- UNAMID Joint Special Representative, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, kicks out a ball after a football match in Al Neem camp for Internally Displaced Persons in El Daein, East Darfur, between players from El Daein and Al Neem IDP camp on July 3, 2013 (Photo Albert González Farran, UNAMID)
The encounter comes after meetings Chambas who is also the head of the African Union United Nation Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) held with the rebels in Kampala last May, around two year following the signing of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) in July 2011.
The chief mediator told the UN Security Council in a report last July before the renewal of UNAMID mandate , that the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the two Sudan Liberation Movement factions of Abdel Wahid Al-Nur (SLM-AW) and Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) "welcomed the initiative" to reenergize the peace process and agreed to meet with him after Ramandan.
The report further spoke about "complementary processes of renewed engagement of the non-signatory movements", in reference to the DDPD which the rebels refuse. The three groups and their ally , Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) reject the existing separate forums for peace in Darfur and Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
JEM spokesperson Gibreel Adam Bilal, told Sudan Tribune that the rebel movements are going to meet with the joint mediator with an "open mind and without any preconditions" to discuss ways to bring a lasting and just peace in Darfur.
"However we are going with the vision of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) calling for a comprehensive peace process to resolve not only Darfur crisis but all the conflicts in the different regions and to re-establish a democratic regime in Sudan", Bilal further emphasised .
He said that they do not seek partial solutions but want to address the root causes of the whole Sudanese crisis, stressing they have a clear vision for a holistic solution that ensures the participation of all the political forces in the political process.
The African Union Peace and Security Council on 19 July rejected the rebels’ demand saying that Darfur people "should not wait any longer for a comprehensive resolution of the conflict" and called on the international community to support efforts for peace under the DDPD. It further added that the democratic transition and other constitutional reforms can come, after the end of different conflicts, with the support of AU High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP).
Also the Security Council, eleven days later, backed the African body and called on the Sudanese government and rebel groups to engage talks on the basis of the Doha framework text.
An international diplomat close to the file said that the international community is not yet ready to support calls for a comprehensive solution even if some western countries consider it represents the best option to settle the ongoing conflicts in Sudan.
He pointed out that the stability of the region requires to focus efforts on the settlement of Sudan south Sudan disputes and support democratic transition in both countries after the resolution of internal conflicts.
The joint mediator reportedly has declined to include the SPLM-N in Arusha meeting.
The SPLM-N last April demanded to include Darfur rebel groups in a meeting the AUHIP organised between the Sudanese government and the rebel group but the request was also refused.
The meeting is attended by international observers from the African Union, Arab league, European Union, UN Security Council members.
The mediation hopes to bring all the rebel groups to the negotiating table as it was the case in the peace process of 2004-2005 held in Nigeria.