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Chadian president to meet with Sudanese officials and Darfur rebels on Wednesday

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September 29, (KHARTOUM) - Chadian president Idris Deby will meet on Wednesday with a Sudanese presidential delegation and members from Darfur rebel groups to convince the latter to join the national dialogue, Sudan Tribune has learned.

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Chadian president Idriss Deby talks to the press before attending the second day of the fourth EU-Africa summit on 3 April 2014 at the EU Headquarters in Brussels (Photo: AFP/Thierry Charlier)

A well placed source told Sudan Tribune that Sudan’s presidential assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, minister of cabinet affairs Ahmed Saad Omer and minister of health Bahar Idris Abu Garda will fly to N’djamena tomorrow.

The same source disclosed that presidential directives were issued on Tuesday instructing the delegation to leave for Chad on Wednesday to hold talks with Deby and return on the same day.

According to the source, the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM), Minni Minnawi, the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Jibril Ibrahim besides leader of the SLM-Imam, Abu al-Gasim Imam and al-Tahir Hajar will arrive in N’djamena today.

The two delegations are expected to meet again in N’djamena next Saturday to make the necessary arrangements for engaging the armed movements into the dialogue, saying Saturday’s meeting would be undertaken by the dialogue’s Liaison Committee with the rebel movements.

However, the leader of the SLM-MM, Minni Minnawi, denied to Sudan Tribune his knowledge of any meeting with Deby in N’djamena, saying “I haven’t received any contacts as of yet and I will not visit Chad at this time”.

SLM-Imam leader Abu al-Gasim Imam told Sudan Tribune that he was invited by the Chadian government to come to N’djamena for consultations on the peace process but not to meet with any representatives from the Sudanese government.

“We accepted the invitation accordingly, and we had visited N’djamena last December and presented our views on dialogue, negotiations and peace to the Chadian government”, he added.

He added that the invitation they received was offered to the Alliance of Liberation Forces including the Sudan Liberation Movement for Justice led by al-Tahir Hajar, Sudan Liberation Movement the Second Revolution and the Liberation and Unity Movement.

Sudan’s president Omer Hassan al-Bashir launched the national dialogue initiative in January 2014 but the process suffered major setbacks after the withdrawal of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) and the non-participation of the rebels as well as leftist forces.

The opposition groups say the dialogue should be chaired by a neutral body not Bashir.

They also say there is a need for an atmosphere of freedoms, to stop the war and allow humanitarian access to the civilians in the rebel held areas and to hold a pre-dialogue meeting abroad.

MEETING WITH NUP AND SRF

Meanwhile, the same source revealed that two high-ranking delegations will travel to Cairo within few days to meet with the leader of the NUP, al-Sadiq al-Mahdi and to Addis Ababa to meet with the leaders of the rebel umbrella Sudan Revolutionary Forces (SRF) in prelude for convening the national dialogue conference in Khartoum on October 10th.

He pointed that the dialogue’s coordination body known as 7+7 will meet next week to put the finishing touches for kicking off the dialogue conference.

SRF factions including the SPLM-N, JEM and SLM-MM held a series of meetings in Paris from 10 to 14 September dedicated to the SRF roadmap for peace and national dialogue in Sudan.

The three rebel groups expressed their readiness to sign a cessation of hostilities for six months in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states and Darfur region provided that Khartoum be committed to the inclusive dialogue process and accept the pre-dialogue process.

(ST)

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