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DDPD signatories call on mediators to resume Darfur talks

September 8, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Former rebel movements signatories of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) have called on the Qatari and African mediators to resume Darfur peace talks as soon as possible.

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JEM leader Gibril Ibrahim (C) speaks at the opening session of Darfur negotiations flanked by SLM-MM leader Minni Minnawi in Addis Ababa on 23 November 2014 (Photo courtesy of AUHIP)

Political secretary of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM-Dabajo) led by Bakheit Abdallah Dabajo, Nahar Osman Nahar demanded to engage DDPD signatories in any peace settlement in Darfur.

He urged the Qatari and African mediators to set a date to start a new round of talks between the government and the rebel movements in the region.

Nahar demanded the holdout groups to show seriousness towards peace, saying the government has made several concessions including the declaration of a unilateral ceasefire and the release of hostages.

For his part, secretary of administration and organization at the Sudan Liberation Movement-Historical Leadership Hashim Abu al-Bishr said the situation in Darfur is quite appropriate to achieve peace.

Last April, delegations representing the Government of Sudan, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by Gibril Ibrahim 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.

Last February, the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (PSC) urged the 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.

(ST)