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Khartoum urges Paris to press SLM-AW leader to join Darfur peace

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April 10, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government has called on Paris to convince the leader of the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) Abdel-Wahid al-Nur to join Darfur’s peace process.

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A fighter belonging to Sudan’s Liberation Movement of Abdel Wahid Nur (SLM-AW)

Al-Nur refuses to negotiate with the government since the failure of Abuja peace process in 2006. He says that the Sudanese authorities have to disarm militias, provide security for the displaced persons and civilians in Darfur and re-institute grabbed land.

He further insists that any talks should only deal with the root causes of the conflict, not its consequences.

The national expert in the Darfur peace office at the Sudanese presidency Osman Dirar said Sudan expects Paris to exert pressure on al-Nour to reverse his stance towards the peace process.

He pointed to France’s declared position in support of peace process in Darfur, saying al-Nur’s stances excite attention as he is constantly refusing to engage in dialogue and peace talks.

“There can be a tactical refusal to make some gains, but this permanent refusal means that he does not want peace or is not qualified to negotiate a settlement.” said Dirar.

The presence of al-Nur in France was a source of troubles in the bilateral relations, but Paris says they hope to convince him to join the African Union-led peace process to end the armed conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas.

Last February, the Sudanese government expressed discontent over France hosting of armed groups leaders particularly al-Nur, saying the rebel leader works to incite violence and seeks to change the government with non-peaceful ways.

Meanwhile, an informed source told Sudan Tribune that some Sudanese officials raised al-Nour’s issue during their meetings with the Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, Alexis Lamek last month, saying Paris’ hosting of al-Nur violates the French laws as he is involved in acts of violence and assassinations in Darfur.

In an opinion article published by Sudan Tribune in November last year, the former U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, Donald Booth said al-Nur’s “refusal to negotiate has been a perennial problem for international efforts to end the conflict in Sudan”, pointing that peace in Sudan must not be held hostage to his refusal to engage.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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