Home | Comment & Analysis    Tuesday 22 November 2016

Peace in Sudan must not be held hostage to Abdul Wahid

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

by Ambassador Donald Booth

Abdul Wahid al Nour, leader of one of Sudan’s armed opposition groups, has not set foot in his country in over a decade. He spends most of his time directing his armed group in Darfur from a satellite phone in his Paris apartment. His refusal to negotiate has been a perennial problem for international efforts to end the conflict in Sudan, but it has become especially damaging as other parties to the conflict begin moving toward peace.

On October 31, three of the four most prominent armed groups in Sudan committed to a unilateral, six-month cessation of hostilities following a similar commitment from the Sudanese government. While such declarations are not new to Sudan, it is unusual for parties to make that commitment at the outset of the fighting seasons (the dry season in Darfur). In recent months, we have also seen, with the notable exception of the area of Darfur under Abdul Wahid’s control, a reduction in violence and bellicose rhetoric from the negotiating parties.

Yet Abdul Wahid refuses to commit to even a temporary halt in fighting for humanitarian aid to reach the people of Jebel Marra, and he has refused overtures to negotiate with the Government of Sudan or participate in consultations to end the violence. He refused to take part in the Arusha Consultations of August 2007, the Sirte Conference of November 2007, the unification initiative in N’Djamena and Addis Ababa in July-August 2009, and the AU-UN/Qatar Initiative in Doha from 2009-2011.

Abdul Wahid has also boycotted all of the more recent initiatives to end Sudan’s conflicts, including an African Union-led process and recent meetings in Kampala overseen by President Museveni. In August, the leaders of some of the largest armed and unarmed opposition groups signed the African Union-drafted roadmap for future political negotiations, which was previously signed by the government. But Abdul Wahid did not attend.

To be fair, Abdul Wahid has valid reasons to be skeptical of the political process and to distrust a government that has bombed and displaced his people for over a decade. Recent arrests of opposition political party officials in Khartoum are a disturbing setback for those trying to engage in peaceful political competition. But Abdul Wahid’s exclusively military strategy has not advanced his cause and has enabled continued violence to devastate his homeland. Abdul Wahid’s refusal to grant UN peacekeepers permission to address claims of government attacks against civilians in areas that he controls is incomprehensible.

Peace in Sudan must not be held hostage to Abdul Wahid’s refusal to engage. What is needed is an inclusive and comprehensive peace process that involves all actors and addresses the political, security, and humanitarian issues at the root of Sudan’s conflicts. The people of Sudan, and above all the people of Jebel Mara, need Abdul Wahid at the table.

In my own recent visits to Darfur, I spoke with several groups of displaced Darfuris who all said the same thing. They just want the fighting to stop.

It is time for Abdul Wahid to join other opposition groups by declaring a unilateral ?cessation of hostilities, committing to political negotiations, and engaging in genuine efforts to end years of unspeakable violence.

Donald Booth is the United States Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan



The views expressed in the 'Comment and Analysis' section are solely the opinions of the writers. The veracity of any claims made are the responsibility of the author not Sudan Tribune.

If you want to submit an opinion piece or an analysis please email it to comment@sudantribune.com

Sudan Tribune reserves the right to edit articles before publication. Please include your full name, relevant personal information and political affiliations.
Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 23 November 2016 16:07, by sudani ana

    At last. A fair and impartial voice on Sudan with real knowledge of Sudan’s current problems, unlike that feckless Reeves who has designated himself as the eternal enemy of Sudan.

    Thank you ambassador Donald Booth. Hats off to you.

    repondre message

Comment on this article


 
 

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Ateny flip-flopping, where is his loyalty to President Kiir? 2017-01-15 07:57:11 By Chuor Deng Chuor The world knows that Ateny Wek Ateny is supposed to be the Press Secretary and official spokesperson of President Salva Kiir. but the reality of the matter is that Ateny has (...)

Obama’s promises and pledges for Darfur went unheeded with lifting sanctions 2017-01-15 06:43:31 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman Barak Obama's Lifting of Sanctions off the genocidal regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) in Sudan is based on weak, unconvincing, pretty flimsy excuses and very (...)

The Final Betrayal of Sudan: Partial Suspension of Sanction 2017-01-14 21:31:35 “The Final Betrayal of Sudan: Obama administration’s lifting of economic sanctions; UN Ambassador Samantha Power justifying the move, claiming a ‘sea change’ of improvement in humanitarian access” (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Abduction of S. Sudan Chief Justice’s aide illegal, should be condemned 2017-01-16 05:27:50 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16th January 2015 Legal Watch Associates South Sudan has learned with shock and dismay the abduction of Mr Gama Thomas, an aide to the Chief Justice, Chan Reech Madut. (...)

Carter Center welcomes new regulations on humanitarian affairs 2017-01-12 07:53:16 The Carter Center ATLANTA, Januarg 11, 2017 – The Carter Center welcomes the recent regulations issued by the government of Sudan aimed at facilitating humanitarian relief throughout the country (...)

Nertiti massacre in Central Darfur exposes the criminal nature of Bashir’s regime 2017-01-03 11:54:47 Sudan Democracy First Group Nirtiti massacre in Central Darfur exposes the criminal nature of Bashir's regime 2 January 2017 On the first day of 2016, and only one day after President Bashir's (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2017 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.