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Minnawi calls to involve EU in new peace process in Darfur

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May 7, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Minni Minnawi, the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) has called for a new process involving the European Union to bring peace in Darfur, pointing that only a lasting peace can contribute to stopping the waves of illegal immigrants into Europe.

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SLM-MM leader Minni Minnawi (AP Photo)

The SLM-MM and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) are engaged in a peace process brokered by the African Union. The two-track process includes also the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) which fights the Sudanese army in the Two Areas, several political opposition parties and civil society groups.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, Minnawi accused the Sudanese government of continuing to carry out attack on civilians in Darfur, using the European support to strengthen its janjaweed militia, which is accused of war crimes, under the pretext of combating illegal immigration.

Minnawi without rejecting the stalled African Union peace process stressed on "the urgent need to find a new and effective project for peace in Sudan".

"A project that addresses the root causes of the political crisis in Darfur and linking it to the national crisis by expanding the umbrella of the negotiating platform to include the European Union and neighbouring conflict-affected countries to contribute with the states and organisations involved in the peace process," he further said.

The rebel leader said the EU can play a positive role in strengthening the Sudan Peace Project, adding that its participation will provide a real opportunity to seriously address the illegal immigration, which worries the Union (countries), and to stop manipulation and extortion exercised by the (Sudanese) government.

"It is wrong to rely on the (Sudanese) government as long as it is the main cause of the political, economic and social crisis in the region, which led to mass migration to Europe," he further stressed.

In a report issued last April, the Enough Project warned against the dual-use of European support to the Sudanese security agencies to stop the flow of illegal migrants by the Sudanese government militia of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
The EU plans to build the capacities of the Sudanese security and law enforcement agencies, including the RSF militia, which has been branded as Sudan’s “border force".

"There are legitimate concerns with these plans. Much of the EU-funded training and equipment is dual-use. The equipment that enables identification and registration of migrants will also reinforce the surveillance capabilities of a Sudanese government that has violently suppressed Sudanese citizens for the past 28 years," stressed the report.

LIFT OF U.S. SANCTIONS

The SLM-M M also criticised the partial lift of sanctions on Sudan saying it would only benefit the government and increase its capacity to commit atrocities and war crimes.

He called to link the lift of sanctions with the end of "génocidaire war" in Darfur and Khartoum support to terror groups.

Furthermore, the SLM-MM called on the U.S. administration to involve "all the national parties, especially the Sudan Liberation Movement, in the monitoring of what is happening on the ground in Darfur in particular and the Sudan in general," Minnawi said.

In line with the five-track engagement process for the partial lift of sanctions on Sudan, U.S. government agencies will continue to assess during a six-month period Khartoum’s implementation of the agreement sealed in this respect.

The five key areas include ceasing hostilities in Darfur and the Two Areas, improving humanitarian access, ending negative interference in South Sudan, enhancing cooperation on counterterrorism, and addressing the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

(ST)

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