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Qatar invites Sudan’s negotiating team to discuss resumption of Darfur talks

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November 18, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government said it has received an invitation to meet the Qatari mediation on Tuesday in Doha to discuss ways to resume Darfur 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)

The invitation comes few days after the Qatari mediator Mutlaq al-Qahtani discussed the resumption of peace talks with the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Gibril Ibrahim and leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) Minni Minnawi.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) quoted the Presidential Envoy for Diplomatic Contact and Negotiation for Darfur Amin Hassan Omer as saying the Qatari mediation has asked the government negotiating team to come to Doha for consultations on the resumption of peace talks.

“We would meet with the Qatari mediator to learn about the details of the meeting,” he said.

For his part, the Presidential Assistant Faisal Hassan Ibrahim said the Doha forum is the main reference for the Darfur peace talks, pointing out that the government team would leave for Doha on Monday.

Following his meeting with the Qatari mediator last week, the JEM leader Gibril Ibrahim told Sudan Tribune that they discussed the practical steps to move the peace process with the contribution of the Qatari mediator in overcoming the small obstacle that stands in front of the signing of the pre-negotiation agreement.

He added once the pre-negotiation deal is struck, the parties will move to discuss a cessation of hostilities agreement for humanitarian purposes and then enter directly into negotiations on political issues to address the root causes of the conflict and address the effects of war.

Gibril further said that it was agreed on the need to coordinate between the different platforms and initiatives to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding.

Recently, the American and German facilitators informed the JEM and SLM-MM that Khartoum is ready to accept their demand for a new independent mechanism to implement any agreement they reach with the government.

However, the matter is not formally enacted.

Last April, delegations representing the Government of Sudan, JEM and SLM-MM ended two-day discussions in Berlin without signing a pre-negotiation agreement.

The holdout groups participating in the peace process include the JEM which refused to sign the DDPD in July 2011 and SLM-MM which denounced the Abuja peace agreement in February 2011.

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

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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