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Sudan says invited to meet Darfur groups in Berlin

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April 10, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Presidential Envoy for Diplomatic Contact and Negotiation for Darfur Amin Hassan Omer said the government has received an invitation to meet the armed movements in Berlin from 16 to 17 April.

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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)

The meeting would bring the Sudanese government and two armed groups from Darfur region, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) to negotiate a pre-negotiation agreement.

If the parties strike a deal, it would pave the way for talks on a cessation of hostilities and then they will join the negotiations table to discuss political issues in Doha.

The German government which is a facilitator for the African Union efforts to end armed conflicts in Sudan hosted several meetings in the past for the opposition groups or between the government and opposition.

Omer told the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) the government would meet with the rebel movements “to listen to them and then look into their views”.

Commenting on the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) threats to sanction rebels who obstruct efforts to achieve peace in Darfur, Omer said the Council’s role is to ensure the negative movements don’t adversely impact on security and stability of African nations.

He stressed the AUSPC is heading in the right direction regarding the conflict 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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