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Darfur groups in contacts for unification: Minnawi

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August 8, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM), Minni Minnawi, said consultations are underway between his movement and the newly formed Sudan Liberation Forces Alliance (SLFA) to form one group.

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In this file photo. Sudan Liberation Movement leader Minni Minnawi poses for a pictures with some fighters

SLFA was formed last month following the merger of three Darfur armed factions including the Sudan Liberation Movement for Justice of Taher Hajer, Sudan Liberation Movement-Unity of Abdallah Yahia and the Justice and Equality Movement led by Abdallah Bashr Gali (aka Gena).

In his speech marking the 16th anniversary of the founding of the SLM-MM, Minnawi said the SLFA has contacted them establish a unified group; pointing the two sides formed a committee to discuss the issue.

He said the committee is chaired by the SLM-MM deputy chairman for financial affairs and the member of the leadership council Adam al-Nur Mohamed from their side and the GLSF deputy chairman Abdallah Yahia from the other side.

Minnawi expressed optimism that the work of the committee would soon achieve the desired goal.

For his part, the SLFA spokesperson Salah Al-Wali told Sudan Tribune they contacted the rest of Darfur armed groups to seek to unify them, pointing the SLFA statute urges them to exert efforts to that end.

“We took the initiative and succeeded to merge three movements, and we extend our hands to the rest of the movements, including those led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur, Minni [Minnawi] and Gibril [Ibrahim],” he said.

He said the need for the integration of the armed group was dictated by the declining popularity of these groups among the IDPs, refugees and the Diaspora.

PEACE TALKS WITH THE GOVERNMENT

Meanwhile, Minnawi described talks between the armed groups and the Sudanese government as “cat-and-mouse game” saying the latter is struggling for a way out of its predicament at the lowest cost.

In his speech seen by Sudan Tribune, the rebel leader pointed to two kinds of wars in Darfur, saying the political war is led by politicians through visions and intellectual programs to retrieve the Sudanese state that was hijacked by the regime.

He described the armed struggle as “legitimate war”, saying it has nothing to do with the tribal or ethnical difference as the regime seeks to portray it in order to mislead the public opinion.

On the other hand, Minnawi said the second war in Darfur is the traditional tribal conflicts, pointing it is an old war that has been politicized by the regime through arming some tribes against others.

The Sudanese army has been fighting a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003.

Doha brokered the Darfur peace negotiations which resulted in the signing of the DDPD by the Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) in July 2011. Also, a dissident faction of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) joined the DDPD in April 2013.

JEM led by Gibril Ibrahim and the SLM-MM have engaged in peace talks with the government under the auspices of the African Union.

However, the SLM-AW led by Abdel-Wahid al-Nur is not part of the African Union-mediated peace talks. The rebel group rejects negotiating a peace agreement with Khartoum government unless the government militias are disarmed and displaced civilians return to their original areas.

(ST)

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