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Former Darfur rebel faction freezes peace deal with Sudan government

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October 16, 2017 (EL-FASHER) - The former rebel group Sudan Liberation Movement led by Nour al-Din Zorgi (SLM-Zorgi) has suspended the peace accord signed with the government of North Darfur in protest against the slow pace of implementation of the agreement.

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SLA rebels ride on the front of a truck with a bullet-ridden windscreen into the mountain village of Deribat in South Darfur state in western Sudan November 16, 2004. (Reuters)

In February 2016, Sudanese government signed a peace deal with breakaway commanders from Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel-Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) including Nour al-Din Zorgi and Salih Adam Ishag allowing them to join Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

In a statement received by Sudan Tribune Monday, SLM-Zorgi said they responded to President Omer al-Bashir’s call for peace and national dialogue and signed an agreement to stop the bloodshed in Darfur.

It added the Movement has joined the National Dialogue Conference according to the agreement, saying they have been committed to all items of the peace accord including the security arrangement.

The statement pointed out that the government didn’t meet its commitments, saying the development projects were not implemented and the Movement was poorly represented in the government.

The Movement also accused the government of disavowing the security arrangements item, saying the leader of the SLM-Zorgi hasn’t been granted the military rank as was agreed.

“For all these reasons, we regret the failure to implement the provisions of the agreement from the government side and announce the freezing of the peace accord we signed with the government of North Darfur until our observations were being considered” read the statement.

On the other hand, the leader of the Movement Nour al-Din Zourgi, in a statement to Sudan Tribune, has called on President al-Bashir to interfere personally to implement the peace accord signed between the SLM-Zorgi and North Darfur government.

Qatar 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.

However, three rebel movements including SLM-MM led by Minnawi Minnawi, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by Gibril Ibrahim and SLM-AW didn’t join the deal.

JEM and SLM-MM, who are part of the African Union-mediated peace talks, call for opening the document for negotiations, saying some issues were ignored or not fairly treated, but Khartoum rejects such request.

SLM-AW, however, is not part of the peace talks. It rejects negotiating a peace agreement with Khartoum government unless the government militias are disarmed and displaced civilians return to their original areas.

UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in Darfur conflict since 2003, and over 2.5 million were displaced.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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