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Sudan unites different panels for peace with Darfur rebels

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February 2, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government on Sunday decided to unite in one body chaired by the first vice-president, the different existing committees tasked with contacts with the rebel groups in Darfur region.

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Rebel delegations SLM-MM (right), JEM (left) and a mediation team (centre) open a workshop on peace in Darfur with a minute silence in memory of former South African president Nelson Mandela in Addis Ababa, on 9 December 2013 (Photo: Albert González Farran/UNAMID)

After the singing of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), the government formed an office headed by Amin Hassan Omer to follow up the implementation of this deal.

However last year a Darfurian conference charged a NCP MP and business man, al-Haj Osman Adam Abdellah (Wadah) with contacts with the non signatory rebels. Also, the government endorsed an initiative instigated by justice minister Mohamed Dossa, Um Jaras forum, aiming to establish a committee form the Zaghawa leaders to bring holdout rebels to the negotiating table.

The decision to unite the efforts of the three panels was taken in the 8th meeting High Follow-Up Committee for Peace in Darfur (HFCPD) headed by president Omer al-Bashir help in Khartoum on Sunday.

Amin Hassan Omer, head of Darfur peace implementation office, told reporters after the meeting that the upcoming period will witness new moves to bring a lasting peace in Darfur through the committee which will be chaired by the first vice-president Bakri Hassan Saleh.

He also stressed that the HFCPD directed to accelerate contacts with the rebels after the merger of the different committees .

The Zaghawa leaders met in Addis Ababa last December with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement – Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) and exhorted them to join the peace process to end the 10 year conflict in Darfur.

Also, Wadah met the two rebel groups in Kampala and London but no concrete steps have been agreed with them. The third holdout rebel group led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur (SLM-AW) refuses to participate in any demarche aiming to discuss Darfur conflict only.

JEM and SLM-MM demand holistic talks for Sudan conflicts but took part in two workshops for peace in Darfur organised by the joint mediator.

ABDEL RAHMAN AND DABAJO JOIN HFCPD

President Omer al-Bashir Sunday issued a decree appointing vice-resident Hassabo Mohamed Abdel Rahman as alternate president and the leader of JEM-Bashar Bakheit Abdallah Abdel-Karim (Dabajo) and his deputy as members of the High Follow-Up Committee for Peace in Darfur (HFCPD).

State minister for cabinet affairs told reporters that Abdel Rahman replaces the former vice-president al-Haj Adam while Dabajo and his deputy join the high committee for the first time in implementation of a peace agreement they signed on 6 April 2013.

He further said that the HFCPD meeting ordered to implement the security arrangements agreement with the JEM-Bashar and praised what has been done to implement a similar deal reached with Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) of Tijani el-Siisi.

In November 2013 , the Sudanese government and LJM agreed to integrate over 3000 LJM combatants into the Sudanese army and government police. The remaining combatants undergo a disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process.

LJM signed the DDPD on 14 July 2011 but the parties diverged long time on the implementation of the security arrangements agreement. The former rebels also accused UNAMID which heads the ceasefire commission of delaying the process.

November agreement was finalised and implemented without the UNAMID which was only informed about the deal by LJM.

(ST)

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