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UN chief urges Darfur armed groups to negotiate lasting peace deal

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A Nigerian peacekeeper plays a tuba trombone in a march to celebrate the Peacekeepers Day in El Fasher on May 29, 2017 (UNAMID Photo)
March 7, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - United Nations chief has deplored the lack of a comprehensive settlement in Darfur and urged the armed groups to engage talks with the government on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

The position of the UN Secretary-General was included in a regular report to Security Council to be discussed on 14 March. Also, it comes after a statement by the African Union Peace and Security Council calling on the holdout groups to negotiate an agreement on the basis of the Doha framework document.

In his report seen by Sudan Tribune, the secretary-general pointed to the "positive developments in the security environment and the impact of the weapons collection campaign".

However, he regretted the lack of progress in the talks between the government and the armed movements for a "comprehensive political solution" in Darfur.

"The Doha Document for Peace in Darfur constitutes a viable framework for the peace process in Darfur and I call upon the rebel groups to demonstrate leadership and courage by engaging positively in its implementation for the benefit of the Darfuris," he stressed.

Following a meeting held on 20 February 2018, the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC), underlined the "unnecessarily prolonged" peace process and "the lack of commitment" on the part of the rebel groups to engage discussions with the government on the basis of the (DDPD).

It also directed the mediation team-led by President Thabo Mbeki to make progress in the resolution of Darfur conflict during the upcoming three months and threatened to sanction those who continue to hinder the ongoing efforts for a lasting peace to end the 15-year conflict.

In a reaction to the SPC’s statement, the Justice and Equality Movement leader Gibril Ibrahim reiterated their commitment for a negotiated agreement, stressing that DDPD which is signed in July 2011 in Doha, does not fulfil the requirements of lasting peace in Darfur.

"Moreover, the Movements do not agree that the DDPD alone is capable of bringing lasting peace to Darfur, and they seek to resolve the root causes of the conflict through a comprehensive and objective approach," he stressed.

JEM and the Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi are part of a peace process brokered by the African Union but the discussions are stalled over the Doha text because the holdout groups call for a new process while the government says the DDPD is the basis for the agreements signed with all the other groups.

The government and the peace facilitators reached a compromise providing that the holdout groups can negotiate a deal to be annexed to the DDPD.

The report said the UN is finalizing a financing approach for sustaining peace in Darfur.

"The approach is focusing on the political engagement of the United Nations system, including aid agencies — multilateral, regional and bilateral — and Member States in order to support a successful transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding and reduce the likelihood of relapse into conflict," said the report.

(ST)

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