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Bashir, Deby agree to dispatch envoys to engage Darfur rebels in peace process

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January 30, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese president and his Chadian counterpart agreed to send special envoys to meet Darfur rebel groups to encourage them to engage in peace negotiations, foreign minister Ali Karti said in statements on Thursday.

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir and his Chadian counterpart, Idriss Deby, wave to the crowd after launching the Darfur Regional Authority in El Fasher, on 8 February 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

Presidents Omer al-Bashir and Idriss Deby met Thursday on the sidelines of an African Union summit on the Central African Republic and South Sudan conflicts held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Karti said that the two head of states agreed to send Darfurian envoys to meet with the rebel groups who refuse to sign a peace agreement with the government, adding that the meeting was dedicated to follow up what they had agreed in previous summits.

Last November president Deby hosted a gathering of Zaghawa tribal leaders and urged them to persuade their sons in the rebel groups to end the 11-year conflict stressing that the tribe to which he belongs suffered from this situation.

The Chadian leader also was in Khartoum by the end of December 2013 where he held a meeting with the Zaghawa leaders telling them that Darfur people are responsible of their problems urging them to stop accusing Bashir.

Karti said there are "signals" from a number of movements non-signatory of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), adding the two presidents discussed "practical steps for the return" of these rebel groups.

He further pointed that the developing relations with Chad contribute to the peaceful solution of Darfur conflict.

The joint chief mediator for the resolution of Darfur conflict Mohamed Ibn Chambas in October and November 2013 met with Chadian, Ethiopian and South Sudanese senior officials urging them to support his efforts for a cessation of hostilities agreement.

Ibn Chambas in collaboration with the IGAD held a workshop on peace and security in Darfur with the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) in Addis Ababa from 9 to 13 December 2013.

However, the two rebel groups declined his proposal to sign a humanitarian cessation of hostilities in Darfur and instead proposed to sign a comprehensive cessation of hostilities including Blue Nile and South Kordofan where they have fight the Sudanese government forces with their allied rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North.

Karti also spoke about a meeting between presidents Bashir and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, adding they discussed normalisation of bilateral relations and agreed to hold further discussions on this respect in the future.

Kampala, which in the past accused Khartoum of harbouring the Ugandan rebel Lord Resistance Army and its leader Joseph Kony, hosts the Sudanese rebel groups.

(ST)

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