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Darfur peace mediator to meet rebels next week

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December 5, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The joint chief mediator, Mohamed Ibn Chambas said he will meet non-signatory rebel groups in Addis Ababa next week to discuss ways to bring peace in Darfur.

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Local singer Ikram Idris performs during the event to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, organised by UNAMID Gender Unit in El Fasher, North Darfur on 5 December. 2013. (Photo by Albert González Farran/UNAMID)

Ibn Chambas made his remarks during a public meeting organised by Darfur hybrid mission (UNAMID) to mark of the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence campaign in El-Fasher attended by more than 500 women.

Speaking to the women, the mediator vowed transmit to the rebel groups the desire of Darfur people to end the 10-year conflict and achieve peace in the region

Addis Ababa meeting which is expected to start on 10 December will discuss the humanitarian situation in Darfur and ways to reach a cessation of hostilities agreement between the government and rebel groups.

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minnawi will attend the meeting.

During a meeting held in Arusha, Tanzania last August, the two rebel groups called for a comprehensive process to settle peace in Darfur saying they are ready for a comprehensive cessation of hostilities in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

JEM, SLM-MM and other groups of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front, including the SPLM-N demand comprehensive talks to discuss a solution for the different conflicts and to organise a constitutional process leading to the end of Bashir regime and implying the participation of opposition parties.

In a separate meeting with the joint mediator, the chairman of Darfur regional Authority, Tjani El-Sissi expressed his support to the efforts exerted by Ibn Chambas to persuade the holdout rebels to join the negotiating table.

Sissi and Ibn Chambas also discussed the recent contacts carried out by the head of liaison committee with rebel movements Siddiq Wadah.

The African Union Peace and Security Council called on rebel groups in Darfur region to unconditionally engage peace talks with the government and threatened to take sanctions against them.

The SRF groups recently visited several European countries to explain their call for a comprehensive process saying separate peace agreements with regime are not implemented. They also said the African countries refuse to speak with them.

(ST)

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