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Armed groups initial draft pre-negotiation agreement on talks for peace in Darfur

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Gibril Ibrahim and Minni Minnawi at the opening session of Darfur track 23 Nov 2014 (ST Photo)
November 23 2018, (ADDIS ABABA) - The Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM), and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by Gibril Ibrahim initialled a pre-negotiation draft agreement to show their willingness to engage in talks for a lasting peace agreement, said the Peace and Security Council.

On 22-23 November, JEM and SLM-MM delegations held consultations meetings with the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui and the UNAMID head and Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur, Kingsley Mamabolo to discuss ways of re-energizing peace talks.

In a statement released on Friday, the African Union’s Peace and Security Council said the two armed groups expressed their readiness to negotiate with the Sudanese government a framework agreement paving the way for the peace talks.

"At the end of the meeting and as a demonstration of their political will and intent, SLM and JEM initialled the proposed pre-negotiation draft document that will form the basis of an agreement," further said the statement.

On Friday 23 November, Minnawi posted a statement on Tweeter saying that the last obstacle for the signing of the pre-negotiation agreement had been overcome without further details.

For his part, Ibrahim told Sudan Tribune they appended their signature to a draft pre-negotiation agreement to demonstrate their goodwill and intent to reach a negotiated settlement so that the mediation can discuss on this basis with the government.

"Overcoming the hindrance to the pre-negotiation agreement depends on the regime’s approval of this amended document," he said.

The government and the armed groups in Darfur held several meetings in Berlin earlier this year to discuss a framework agreement (pre-negotiation agreement) before to engage in the peace talks.

The government refused a demand made by the rebels to include in the negotiations the establishment of a new mechanism to implement the future peace agreement. However, Khartoum recently informed the German and U.S. facilitators they are no longer opposed to this mechanism.

The Joint Mediator now has to get the formal agreement of the Sudanese government for the setup of this new implementation mechanism in the pre-negotiation agreement.

During their presence in Addis Ababa, the delegations of the two groups were also received by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Faki Musa Mahamat who called upon all the parties to find a speedy a solution to the conflict.

"He equally observed that the prolonged conflict has brought untold pain and suffering on the people of Darfur and that the urgency of a quick and sustainable solution cannot be overstated," he said according to the statement.

(ST)

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