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Sudan reiterates readiness to resume Darfur peace talks

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April 4, 2018 (KHARTOUM) The Sudanese government Wednesday renewed its readiness to engage in direct negotiations with Darfur rebels as soon as the African mediation extends an invitation to resume the peace talks.

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Head of government delegation for talks for peace in Darfur Amin Hassan Omer speaks to reporters in Addis Ababa on Friday 20 November 2015 (ST Photo)

Sudan’s Presidential Envoy for Diplomatic Contact and Negotiation for Darfur Amin Hassan Omer told the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) that the government didn’t receive an invitation from the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to resume the talks.

He pointed out that the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) call to resume the peace talks within three months wasn’t intended for the government but the armed movements.

Omer further said the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) constitutes the basis for any future peace agreement in the region, saying the document is open to accommodate anyone who wishes to join the peace process in Darfur.

In a meeting held on 20 February 2018, the AUPSC said concerned by the “unnecessarily prolonged” process for peace in Darfur and called for a rapid resolution of the 15-year conflict.

The Council further pointed to "the lack of commitment on the part of the non-signatory Darfur armed movements" and urged them to engage discussions with the government on the basis of the DDPD.

It urged mediators 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.

The holdout groups including the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Sudan Liberation Movement - Minn Minnawi (SLM-MM) refused to sign the DDPD in July 2011 and called to open the framework agreement for talks.

Other groups like the Sudan Liberation Movement - Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW) had declined to join the process and rejected its outcome.

The AUHIP led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki proposed a holistic process to end the armed conflicts and produce political reforms in Sudan

During the year 2015-2016, talks between the government and the SLM-MM and JEM failed to reach a tangible result despite international efforts to bring together the opposition groups and to narrow the gaps between them and the government.

The Sudanese army has been fighting a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003. UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the conflict and over 2.5 million were displaced.

(ST)

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