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Chadian president arrives in Khartoum with three Darfur rebel leaders

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October 9, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - The Chadian President Idriss Deby has arrived Friday to Khartoum airport flanked with the leaders of three rebel factions of Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) who changed their mind and accepted to take part in the national dialogue process.

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Chad’s President Idriss Deby (L) with President Omer al-Bashir greets Sudanese officials at Khartoum airport on Friday 9, 2015 (Photo SUNA)

On Friday morning a rebel leader Abu al-Gasim Imam told Sudan Tribune from Ndjamena that he, Taher Hajer of the SLM-Karbino and Abdallah Yahia of SLM-Unity have ultimately accepted the proposal of President Deby to take part in the national dialogue conference which will kick off on Saturday 10 October .

Deby and his ministerial delegation was received at Khartoum airport by President al-Bashir. Following what, the two presidents held a meeting at the Sudanese presidency where they discussed the ongoing efforts to bring the rebel groups to the dialogue conference in Khartoum.

Foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour told reporters that the visits comes at the invitation of President al-Bashir to participate at the opening session of the national dialogue conference. he added that Deby’s participation confirms the depth and strength of relations between Sudan and Chad.

Sudanese government asked Deby personally to convince the rebel groups from region to join the process. During a visit to Paris last week, he met with Gibril Ibrahim of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Abdel Wahid al-Nur and Minni Minnawi who lead the two main SLM factions.

After his return to Ndjamena he met with Hajer, Yahia and Imam, who in a first statement on Thursday told Sudan Tribune they declined to join him in his trip to Khartoum, joining the position of the other rebel leaders in Paris.

After the arrival of Deby and the three rebel leaders in Khartoum, Taher Hajer told Sudan Tribune they had a discussion with Deby and told him they do not trust the regime which used to not implement the signed peace agreements.

Accordingly, they asked him to provide them with the necessary guarantees for the implementation of the outcome of the dialogue conference.

"We have come with Deby’s plane. We will be with him in his residence in Khartoum and under his responsibility, and we will return with him as well," Hajer said.

He further said they informed the Chadian president that the national dialogue conference will not substitute for negotiations to end the armed conflicts, stressing they agreed on this point also.

From his side, Imam told Sudan Tribune they asked President Deby to speak with President al-Bashir over the need to release all the political detainees and prisoners.

All the rebels who met with Deby said he insisted on the need to end the 12-year conflict which directly affects his country.

The Chadian president requested the rebel leaders to take all their concerns and demands to the national dialogue conference and seek a viable solution for it.

The head of Darfur Regional Authority, Tijani al-Sissi, said in a talk show at the official Sudanese radio that a number of armed groups will participate in the dialogue conference.

Last September, Sudanese president issued two decrees the first declared a two-month ceasefire with the rebel groups and the second included an amnesty for the rebel who participate in the national dialogue conference.

The holdout armed and political groups refuse to join the internal conference saying the government should implement an African Union road map to facilitate process and participate in pre-dialogue meeting to be organised by the regional body at its headquarters in Addis.

(ST)

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