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Doha renews support for resumption of Darfur talks

June 3, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Qatari government on Sunday has renewed support for the resumption of Darfur peace talks on the bases of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

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Qatari Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah bin Ahmed al-Mahmoud chairs the 11th meeting of the the International Follow-up Committee for DDPD Implementation in Khartoum on May 9, 2016 (ST Photo)

On Sunday, the Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir discussed with the Special Envoy of the Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs for Combating Terrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani ways to resume Darfur peace talks.

In press statements following the meeting, Al-Qahtani said the meeting discussed the various tracks of peace talks and ways to convince the holdout groups to join the process.

He stressed Qatar’s support for the resumption of the talks on the basis of the DDPD, expressing hope these efforts would contribute to complete the peace process and achieve security in the region.

For his part, the Presidential Envoy for Diplomatic Contact and Negotiation for Darfur Amin Hassan Omer said the meeting discussed development programmes in Darfur as well as the resumption of peace talks.

He revealed a meeting would be held soon with the African Union representative to discuss the completion of the peace process and convince holdout groups to join the DDPD.

Omer pointed out that the recent meetings in Berlin were meant to reach a joint agreement on the resumption of the peace talks, saying they would focus on discussing IDPs and refugees return and stability in the region.

Last April, delegations representing the Government of Sudan, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi ended two-day discussions in Berlin without signing a pre-negotiation agreement.

The two sides say willing for a negotiated settlement but failed to agree on how to proceed. The government put on the negotiating table the DDPD, but the armed groups say they want a new process on new bases, not this framework text signed in July 2011 with other former rebel groups.

The holdout groups including the JEM and SLM-MM refused to sign the DDPD in July 2011 and called to open the framework agreement for talks.

Other groups like the Sudan Liberation Movement - Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW) have declined to join the process and rejected its outcome.

The African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki proposed a holistic process to end the armed conflicts and produce political reforms in Sudan.

During the year 2015-2016, talks between the government and the SLM-MM and JEM failed to reach a tangible result despite international efforts to bring together the opposition groups and to narrow the gaps between them and the government.

Germany and the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) signed a deal to facilitate the two-track process for a comprehensive peace agreement in Sudan. Berlin already organised a number of meeting in this respect.

Last February, the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (PSC) urged the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to make progress in the resolution of Darfur conflict during the upcoming three months.

The Sudanese army has been fighting a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003. UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the conflict and over 2.5 million were displaced.