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


National dialogue building nation 2017-05-22 21:10:41 By Amb. Dhano Obongo Initially, I congratulate and commend H.E the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, for recognising the need for a national dialogue among 64 (...)

The raging just revolution in Darfur will continue burning until victory 2017-05-22 21:04:22 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman Author Mahmoud Yusuf says that we live in a historical stage full of serious events that will affect the future of mankind on this planet, including what is related to (...)

South Sudan: How culture of revenge inhibits development and progress 2017-05-13 08:09:39 By Steve Paterno Admittedly, revenge or the act of it is inherently human in nature. The human beings since biblical times could not dissuade from the proverbial practice of an 'eye for an eye.' (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


HRW denounces "collective punishment" in South Sudan’s Wau 2017-04-15 07:06:48 Human Right Watch South Sudan: New Spate of Ethnic Killings Urgent Need for Justice; UN Should Increase Patrols in Wau (Nairobi, April 14, 2017) – Government soldiers and allied militias (...)

Statement by South Sudanese Communist Party on the National Dialoguel 2017-03-22 05:44:42 The Communist Party of South Sudan On the Initiative of the National Dialogue The initiative taken by the President of the Republic of South Sudan declaring a need for a national dialogue is an (...)

An Appeal to President of the Republic of South Sudan 2017-03-15 07:22:45 Dear. Mr. President, I write to appeal to you for the release of political detainees now in the custody of the National Security Service at Jebel and other detention facilities. In doing this, I (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2017 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.