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Darfur mediators hand compromise proposals to Sudanese parties

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January 1, 2011 (DOHA) — Darfur peace mediators have handed compromise proposals to the Sudanese government and rebel groups on the pending issues in order to present a final peace and ceasefire agreements in the upcoming days.

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JCM Dijbril Bassole (L) and state minister Ahhmed bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud (QNA)

The Qatari state for foreign affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud and the Joint Chief Mediator Djibril Bassole reaffirmed in a press conference held on Friday they would keep working to achieve "a peace document that will be the basis for finding a just and comprehensive solution for the conflict in Darfur very soon."

Presidential adviser Ghazi Salah Al-Deen told the press from Doha on Thursday 30 December That Sudan’s negotiating delegation would return to Khartoum on Friday saying they have nothing to add to the peace talks but added they remain committed to the on going process.

On the talks between the government and the rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), the Mediation disclosed it had "presented on Thursday 30 December 2010, a compromise proposal on the pending issues to the parties and is now awaiting their responses on them in order to proceed in preparing a final peace document".

LJM rebels ask, on the power sharing file, for one region in Darfur and a position of vice-president. The rebels also demand 500 million US dollar to compensate IDPs while the government offeres only 200 million. On the file of security arrangements, LJM wants the government to disarm militias and reorganize the regular forces; Khartoum also rejects this request. Finally, with regard to the register of justice, rebels speak about the need for justice through the International Criminal Court and the hybrid courts; the government refuses to discuss on these requests reminding that they are inconsistent with the constitution.

The mediators who tried to find out a compromise in their latest proposals announced that one of the two parties has already given his response on the peace agreement with the LJM.

However, Tadjadine Bechir Niam, LJM secretary for peace negotiations told Sudan Tribune that the leadership Council of the rebel group would give its response to the mediation tomorrow as they are still holding consultations on the issue.

The rebels are however expected, in their response that they would hand to the mediation on Sunday, to back the proposals made by the mediators.

After the arrival of government delegation to Khartoum on Friday evening, the spokesperson of the negotiating team confirmed tacitly they responded already to the compromise proposals received from the mediation.

He said they expressed reservations about proposals received from the mediation because some of them are inconsistent with the constitution and others are contrary to the framework agreement signed with the LJM last March.

Concerning the cessation of hostilities between the government and the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the mediation handed to both parties the observations of each party on the Draft Agreement "so that the latter be enabled to workout a reconciliatory text with a view to achieving compromise between the two parties that will lead to the signing of the agreement as soon as possible".

JEM spokesperson, Ahmed Hussein Adam, said they received the text of GOS observations on Friday and they would hand their position to the mediation as soon as possible during the week end.

JEM delegation said the government was not serious during the talks on a cessation of hostilities agreement. The Sudanese government negotiating team was seeking "to sabotage the talks through making unreasonable and impossible demands," Ahmed said.

JEM and LJM slammed the departure of the government’s delegation from the venue of the peace process.

Al-Mahmoud and Bassole were in Chad during the 27-28 December where they met with the Chadian President who supports the peace process and paid a visit to Sudanese refugees in Abeche near the Sudanese border to brief them on the ongoing talks and discuss related issues as they had done in Darfur earlier this month.

The mediators also will convene a meeting for the special envoys to Sudan from UN Security Council permanent members and European Union besides another meeting for the Joint Afro-Arab Inter-Ministerial Committee for Darfur.

The mediators who have an international and regional mandate to broker a peace deal between the Sudanese warring parties in Darfur said they will keep on their efforts to reach an inclusive peace agreement and called on the stakeholders to cooperate in order to reach the peace deal.

Djibril Bassole told reporters that rebel groups would not join a peace process inside the country and it would be judicious to wait till an agreement reached in Doha before to hold government process inside the country.

Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud said that the Sudanese government confirmed that the internal initiative is not a substitute for the Doha venue. He further revealed that Sudanese government officials "told us before leaving Doha, they are waiting for the document of peace to engage the internal consultations".

The Sudanese official in charge of Darfur file said yesterday his government would seek to reach peace through a direct dialogue with the civil society, IDPs and the elected governors and MPs.

The head of the African panel Thabo Mbeki was also in Doha on Thursday seeking to involve Qatar in his plan to promote his process of political dialogue in Darfur in association with the Sudanese government.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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