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Al-Nur urges Darfur rebels to join SLM or JEM for peace talks

Nov 26, 2006 (PARIS) — A Darfur rebel leader expressed readiness to resume peace negotiations with Sudanese government; he urged other rebel factions to join the two mains groups which had participated in Abuja talks.

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SLM leader Abdelwahed Mohamed A-Nur

The leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) Abdelwahid al-Nur, who is currently in a European tour, said his group is ready for talks with the Sudanese government on the additional paper for the Darfur peace talks.

Asked about the place of the new rebel groups formed after the end of Abuja talks in the expected talks, Al-Nur said these groups have no difference with SLM and JEM on the causes of the rejection of Abuja accord signed on 5 May.

The establishment of these groups comes as a consequence of the failure of Abuja, he argued. Nonetheless, they all “adhere to the demands that we formulated vis-à-vis the agreement” signed between the Sudanese government and Mini Minawi group, he said. "So they can join SLM or JEM delegations for the talks".

The joint UN-AU meeting held in Addis Ababa on 16 November agreed to resume Darfur peace talks on the basis of Darfur Peace Agreement and with the same rebel groups which participated in Abuja talks. It refused to recognize the National redemption Front formed on 30 June and the SLM- Abdelshafi formed on 31 August 2006.

Regarding the situation within the SLM, he said the new factions (Abdelshafi faction and the SLM members who were in Minawi faction but reject the DPA), can join the SLM delegation and participate in the talks. If not they can wait the conclusion of a deal with the government and then they could participate in the Darfur-Darfur dialogue process.

According to him, the Darfur-Darfur dialogue allows these groups to control the region and its administrations’ body after the peace. “when we insisted during the talks at Abuja on the question of Darfur-Darfur dialogue process we had said Darfur people are divided, we need to harmonize the Darfuri society and we meant to create a regional government of national unity there to allow all the political forces in the region to participate in the administration of Darfur even those who had not participated in the talks”.

The rebel leader disclosed that he had tried to hold a meeting for SLA commanders at Abdelshakour locality near the Bir Mazza area in North Darfur but the Sudanese army of bombarding the area to prevent this meeting.

He said more than one hundred child and older people lost their live during this attack on 18-19 November. He indicated that Khartoum apparently was informed about the meeting. “The size of causalities pushed us to suspend the holding of such meeting in the near future;” he further added

Asked whether he agree with a SLM-reunification process launched by Ahamed Abdelshafi; Al-Nur expressed his appreciation for this effort but declined the offer saying all SLM sectors should be involved in the reunification conference “it is not only a meeting for military commanders”.

“So we have to wait for better conditions for the holding of this conference” he said.

ERITREAN MONEY

Abdelwahid denied statement attributed to Jendayi E. Frazer, US assistant secretary of state for African affairs published in the pan Arab newspaper al-Hayat on 24 November, accordingly he refused to sign 5 May peace deal in Aubja because Eritrea gave him money.

He said first, such baseless statement could not emanate from a respectable person like Frazer. Secondly, the Eritrean officials do not use to act in this way.

He added we refused to sign because “we defend the cause of oppressed people; it is a question of rights not money.”

(ST)