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Armed groups in Darfur reject UNAMID calls for sanctions against al-Nur

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Gibril Ibrahim and Minni Minnawi at the opening session of Darfur track 23 Nov 2014 (ST Photo)
October 27, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The leaders of Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Gibril Ibrahim and Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) Minni Minnawi slammed a call for sanction against another rebel leader in Darfur and urged the Security Council to not respond to this request.

In a briefing to the Security Council on 22 October, the head of the African Union-United Nation Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and Joint Chief Mediator Jeremiah Mamabolo said the Abdel Wahid al-Nur persists in his rejection to participate in the peace process and called for sanctions against him.

" It is highly unlikely that he would change this position any time soon. The Security Council may wish to consider stem measures against the SLA leader," Mamabolo added.

"JEM and SLM strongly condemn the recommendation to the UN Security Council made by the Joint UN African Chief Mediator, Ambassador Jeremiah Kensley Mamabolo, to impose sanctions against Comrade Abdel Wahid Mohammed Ahmed al-Nur, head of the SLM/A," said a joint statement issued on Saturday.

The Gibril and Minnawi further pointed out that Mambolo as the chief mediator has no mandate to seek sanctions against a party to the conflict.

"Taking such an initiative indicates that the mediator is weak and lacks innovative means of communicating with all parties to the conflict, understanding their positions and persuading them of the importance of their participation in the peace process," said the joint statement.

"Accordingly, the Sudan Liberation Movement (Minnawi) and the Justice and Equality Movement recommend to the UN Security Council not to adopt this disappointing recommendation, which will not contribute to peace in Sudan," stressed the statement.

The SLM leader refuses to take part in the peace talks demanding that the consequences of the conflict be repaired by the government first before to engage in a political process to address the root causes of the conflict.

The return of IDPs to their areas of origin, accountability for the war crimes and compensations for the victims, are among the demands he made.

In the past, the Security Council put aside such calls for sanctions against al-Nur made by the Sudanese government. But this is the first time that the matter was discussed by the African Union Peace and Security Council and raised by the chief mediator.

After the recent downsizing of the hybrid peacekeeping force and the planned withdrawal of the mission in 2020, the 15 member-body is more insisting on the need for the armed group to conclude a political agreement with Khartoum after 15 of war in Darfur.

In a speech before the Security Council on 22 October, the Ethiopian Ambassador blamed the Darfur armed groups for the gap between the improvement in the security situation and the delay in the political settlement of the conflict.

"The Darfur rebel groups show no meaningful interest in ensuring peace in Darfur. They are amassing huge benefits from criminal activities in neighbouring states and have no real incentive to pursue peace," he said.

The SLM-Minnawi and the JEM are part of a peace process brokered by the African Union. The peace talks are expected to resume soon as the mediators have recently asked the parties to prepare for the talks.

(ST)

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