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Sudan denies agreeing to shift Darfur peace talks to Ethiopia

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May 6, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government dismissed reports saying it agreed to move the venue of Darfur peace talks to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Abab, reiterating its commitment to the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) to end the 11-year conflict in western Sudan.

Darfur peace implementation follow-up office issued a statement on Tuesday denying press reports saying Khartoum government had accepted to negotiate a peace agreement with non-signatory rebel groups in the region.

The office said that there is no such a deal and “we reject this idea in principle”, stressing that “the government sticks to the Doha platform as the sole and final venue for the Darfur peace process”.

The Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) failed last week to reach a framework agreement, but said they achieved some progress without disclosing on what they disagree.

Also while the talks were taking place, the rebel alliance Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) including Darfur holdout movements and the SPLM-N issued a roadmap for peace in Sudan proposing to unify the two tracks to end armed conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas.

The rebels further proposed that a joint mediation – composed of the head of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), Thabo Mbeki, Darfur peace mediator Mohamed Ibn Chambas and UN special envoy Haile Menkerios – brokers talks on security and humanitarian issues and matters related to their areas before to join a national conference on the new constitution.

Darfur peace office however said that the eighth meeting of the DDPD Implementation and Follow-up Commission (IFC) reaffirmed its support to the Doha forum and that the AUHIP is a partner in the Darfur Darfur dialogue process as provided in the document.

The ICF meeting, which was headed by the Qatari deputy prime minister, Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud, took place on 29 April in El Fasher with the participation of the African Union, the European Union, the League of Arab States, Canada, Chad, China, Burkina Faso, Egypt, France, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

(ST)

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