August 22, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The joint peace mediator Mohamed Ibn Chambas on Thursday called on the rebel groups to engage separate direct talks to end the 10-year conflict in Darfur stressing that an agreement with government will pave the way for a comprehensive process for the whole Sudan.
- The UNAMID chief and joint mediator, Mohamed Ibn Chambas (displayed at the screen), delivers his opening remarks to the participants of the International Donors Conference for Reconstruction and Development in Darfur, in Ritz Hotel in Doha on 7 April 2013. (Photo Albert Gonzalez Farran, UNAMID)
Rebel groups including Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), two factions of Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur (SLM-AW) and Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) say they want a holistic process to discuss the Sudanese crisis, pointing out that Darfur conflict is an expression of this national problem.
The three movements further called to associate their allies of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) in Arusha meeting, particularly SPLM- North which fight the Sudanese government in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the consultation meeting, Chambas welcomed the two delegations of JEM and SLM-MM groups who responded positively to his invitation, stressing that such encounter would help the parties to appreciate each other and build mutual confidence.
He also pointed out that Darfur conflict is a manifestation of a broader political problem in Sudan but stressed on the need to end war in order to relieve civilians who are affected by the conflict. He further added that the resolution of this crisis is a step towards the comprehensive solution that rebels demand.
He also reiterated that this meeting aims to exchange views on how to end the conflict in Darfur and the humanitarian crisis, adding that a political agreement on this issue will create a conducive environment for the comprehensive solution of the Sudanese crisis.
SLM-AW leader Abdel Wahid Al-Nur issued a statement this week rejecting to attend the consultations saying the mediation pledged to invite the SRF. On the other hand, JEM leader Gibril Ibrahim disclosed that he, Al-Nur and Minnawi sent a joint letter asking to invite as observers the other members of the rebel coalition.
Najmaldin Mussa Abdal-Kareem, JEM deputy secretary for political affairs, told Sudan Tribune from Arush they will speak on Friday as the first session was dedicated to Chambas and his aides who gave three papers about humanitarian crisis, security situation, and the different peace processes.
Abdel-Kareem said they intend to tackle the different aspects of Darfur conflict including the problematic of peace in Darfur, civilians protection and how to achieve a comprehensive peace agreement.
Abdallah Mursal, SLM-MM spokesperson, two days ago, said they want to take this opportunity to draw attention to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Darfur adding they will file some propositions on this regard to the joint peacekeeping operation there.
Arusha consultations is the first meeting between the non signatory rebel groups and the mediation since the signing of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur in July 2013. Only JEM was part of the Doha talks.