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Sudan, armed groups agree to resume talks for peace in Darfur

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The signing ceremony of the pre-negotiation agreement for peace talks on Darfur in Berlin on Thursday (ST photo)
December 6, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government and two armed groups in Darfur region signed Thursday a pre-negotiation agreement paving the way for the resumption of peace talks in Qatar next year.

The signing of the declaration of principles with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnwi (SLM-MM) took place in Berlin after two years of informal talks facilitated by the German foreign ministry with the support of the Berghof Foundation.

The signing ceremony was attended by Germany’s Deputy Foreign Minister Walter Lindner, Qatari Special Envoy for Combating Terrorism and Conflict Resolution Mutlaq Al Qahtani, Amin Hassan Omer Sudan’s Presidential Envoy for Diplomatic Contact and Negotiation for Darfur Amin Hassan Omer.

The Joint Chief Mediator Jeremiah Mamabolo co-signed the deal with the Sudanese government representative Mohamed Mukhtar, Ahmed Tugud JEM Chief Negotiator and Ali Trayo SLM-MM Chief Negotiator.

Were also present at the function, representatives from the U.S.A, France, the United Kingdom, Norway and the European Union.

The agreement provides that the signatories will resume talks on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD). However, also would be discussed the issues that the two groups consider crucial for a sustainable peace.

In addition, a new independent implementation mechanism will be set up to enforce the would-be agreement reached by the parties.

The parties agreed to resume peace talks in Doha during the third week of January 2019.

"The Government renews its full readiness to resume the Doha negotiations in the same positive and constructive spirit in order to complete the final and sustainable peace in Darfur," said Amin Hassan Omer who is also the government chief negotiator.

German Deputy Foreign Minister Lindner said they are pleased to bring to a successful conclusion the Berlin Track of Darfur negotiations. He further added that his country’s ready to continue promoting sustainable peace in Darfur pointing that Germany will be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2019-2020.

continue the process and become a future non-permanent member of the UN Security Council actively promoting sustainable peace in Darfur and the region.

"The course is set to continue along this path, and I urge all parties to continue to engage constructively in the peace process," he further said.

In a joint statement, JEM and SLM-MM said the signed deal is "is a roadmap for a new negotiating process" pointing to the possibility to add news items on the negotiating agenda and the establishment of a new implementation mechanism.

Noreldaem Taha, SLM-MM Information Secretary told Sudan Tribune this agreement is an important step to reshape the negotiation process and the role of intermediaries.

Taha added they reject partial solutions as they lead to the re-production of other crises in the country.

"Therefore, we reiterate our firm position that demands a comprehensive and genuine peace that addresses all the issues of the country and brings the displaced people back to their homes," he stressed.

JEM was the initiator of the DDPD but pulled out of the peace process as it had contested the representation of the other armed groups.

(ST)

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