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Darfur peace follow-up body welcomes signing of pre-negotiation agreement

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Sudanese government and rebel officials shake hands after the signing of the pre-negotiations agreement in Berlin on 6 December 2018 (ST Photo)
December 9, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The Implementation Follow-up Commission (IFC) of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) welcomed the signing of a pre-negotiation agreement for peace in Darfur and called on the remaining holdout groups to join the peace process.

The IFC held its 14th meeting in Khartoum on Sunday to discuss progress made and the challenges faced in the implementation of the DDPD since its last meeting which was held on 11 July 2018, in Doha.

"All participants welcomed the signing of the pre-negotiation agreement between the Government of Sudan and Justice and Equality Movement -Gebril Ibrahim and Sudan Liberation Movement – Minni Minnawi in Berlin and hoped that this would lead to substantive negotiations on cessation of hostilities and resumption of negotiations in Doha next month," said a statement the UNAMID released after the meeting.

The pre-negotiations provides that the two holdout groups will discuss a peace agreement on the basis of the DDPD but allows the two groups to add other issues to the agenda of the talks. Also, it establishes a new mechanism for the implementation of the would-be agreement between the parties.

The participants, including members of the international community, have once again called on the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement- Abdel Wahid to come to the negotiation table and join the peace process.

The meeting, which was chaired by Qatar’s Special Envoy for Mediation and Conflict Resolution Mutlaq al-Qahtani, discussed Darfur peace process and development, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, arms collection, Darfur Internal Dialogue and Consultation, voluntary return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) among other issues.

The meeting further called for more intensive efforts to facilitate the return of internally displaced persons to voluntarily return to their areas of origin as well the reintegration of ex-combatants.

Also, it was agreed that there is a need for more coordination between UNAMID, Darfur Peace Follow-up Office, signatory movements and other DDPD stakeholders to ensure peace implementation as the peacekeeping mission has been reconfigured and its mandate would focus on Jebel Marra area.

Addressing the meeting, the Special Envoy al-Qahtani renewed Qatar’s unwavering support for the DDPD implementation and called on donors to contribute to the return of displaced people to their areas of origin.

"Now, we are urgently need to implement development projects in Darfur as our ultimate goal is to achieve security and peace in the region," he stressed

For his part, UNAMID chief Jeremiah Mamabolo reiterated UNAMID’s commitment to continue to support the implementation of the remaining provisions of the DDPD.

"UNAMID shall continue to engage with the IFC members for the sake of a comprehensive and sustainable peace across Darfur,” he said.

The Government of Sudan was represented by Amin Hassan Omer, Presidential Envoy for Negotiations and Diplomatic Communications, and Magdi Khalafalla, Head of the Darfur Peace Follow-up Office; National Liberation and Justice Party represented by Tijani Sissi; Liberation and Justice Party represented by Bahar Idriss Abugarda; Justice and Equality Movement/Sudan represented by Bakheit Abdullah Abdelkarim; and Sudan Liberation Movement -Second Revolution represented by Abulgasim Imam Elhaj.

Also, present were the representatives of the European Union, Canada, Chad, China, France, Japan, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States of America as well as Germany as an observer.

(ST)

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