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Sudan says rebels’ intransigence caused failure of Berlin meeting on Darfur peace

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Sudanese government delegation to a consultations meeting with JEM & SLM-MM on peace in Darfur on 16-17 April 2018 (ST Photo)
April 18, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government accused Darfur armed group of rejecting all the compromises proposed by the international mediators to reach a declaration of principles paving the way for peace talks to end the 15-year conflict.

On Tuesday evening the delegations representing the Government of Sudan, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi ended two-day discussions in Berlin without signing a pre-negotiation agreement.

The two sides say willing for a negotiated settlement but failed to agree on how to proceed. The government put on the negotiating table the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, but the armed groups say they want a new process on new bases, not this framework text signed in July 2011 with other former rebel groups.

Amin Hassan Omer, the head of the government delegation issued a statement on Wednesday morning saying the two movements refused all the proposals made by the mediators and were determined to impose some conditions before the negotiations.

The two groups their positions, "although the government had agreed to all the propositions drafted by the mediation," said Omer. "It is clear that the brothers on the other side are not yet ready to go through the peace process with all its benefits," he further said.

Minnawi, on Tuesday, said the government delegation insisted on the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) as the only basis for negotiations and rejected the proposals and concessions they made in order to break the stalemate.

ACCUSING FINGER TO THE AFRICAN UNION

For his part, JEM leader Gibril Ibrahim Wednesday reiterated that the government’s insistence on the DDPD as the basis for the talks led to the failure of the meeting.

He further said the statements of AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui on Darfur peace process encouraged the government to harden its position and "significantly contributed to the failure of the talks".

Ibrahim said the government adopted this tough position thinking that the African Union now raises a big stick and the armed movements are forced to accept what is dictated on them.

Following a meeting held on 20 February 2018, the Peace and Security Council said concerned by the "unnecessarily prolonged" process for peace in Darfur.

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 Doha Document for peace in Darfur (DDPD).

(ST)

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