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Sudan’s LJP calls on African mediation to resume Darfur peace talks

March 31, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Liberation and Justice Party (LJP) has demanded the African mediation to set a time limit for the resumption of the Darfur peace talks.

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Tadjadine Bechir Niam (File Photo)

The LJP, which is led by Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, is one of two factions of the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) which signed the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) in July 2011. The other faction, National Liberation and Justice Party (NLJP) is chaired by Tijani al-Sissi.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) has quoted the LJP spokesperson Taj al-Din Bashir Niam as saying the armed struggle has become useless and the arms bearers have no option but to join the negotiating table.

He called on the African mediation to set a date to bring the armed movements and the government to a new round of talks soon, saying there are indications that the rebels would resort to peace.

Niam pointed out to the success of the disarmament campaign in Darfur and the return of the refugees and IDPs, saying the region is witnessing unprecedented climate of social peace.

The LJP spokesperson further underscored that the success of the peace talks in Darfur is the responsibility of all parties to the conflict.

The African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) is brokering comprehensive peace talks to end the war and achieve democratic reforms in Sudan.

The two-track process comprises the Sudanese government and opposition forces including the armed groups in Darfur and the Two Areas.

The government and the opposition Sudan Call alliance including the armed groups signed in March and August 2016 the Roadmap Agreement brokered by the AUHIP including several steps towards their participation in a national constitutional process inside Sudan.

Doha brokered the Darfur peace negotiations resulted in the signing of the DDPD by the Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) in July 2011. JEM which had initiated the process rejected the deal.

Three rebel movements including SLM-MM led by Minnawi Minnawi, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by Gibril Ibrahim and SLM-AW led by Abdel-Wahid al-Nour didn’t join the DDPD.

JEM and SLM-MM call for opening the document for negotiations, saying some issues were ignored or not fairly treated, but Khartoum rejects such request.

In their last meeting from 9 to 14 August 2016 under the auspices of the African Union, the government, JEM and SLM-MM discussed the signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement and a humanitarian access agreement.

However, the parties diverged on the location sites of rebel fighters and mechanisms for the monitoring of humanitarian assistance. Also, the two groups raised the release of their prisoners from the Sudanese jails and the need to open the DDPD for discussions.

SLM-AW, however, is not part of the African Union-mediated peace talks. The rebel group rejects negotiating a peace agreement with Khartoum government unless the government militias are disarmed and displaced civilians return to their original areas.

UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in Darfur conflict since 2003, and over 2.5 million were displaced.

(ST)