Home | News    Tuesday 20 June 2006

After 5 May deal, SLM Minawi faces divisions and defections


June 19, 2006 (PARIS) — The Sudan Liberation Movement who signed the 5 May peace agreement with the Sudanese government seems divided over the next step towards the peace implementation.

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Juma Hagar

While Khartoum received yesterday a delegation from the SLM Minawi, headed by Mohamed Al-Tigani Al-Tayeb, the secretary general of the SLM, Mustafa Tayrab stated in a press release issued today that Khartoum delegation is not charged from the SLM to go to Khartoum.

According to reliable sources, the chief of the SLM Minni Minawi since the signing of the peace deal — with the Sudanese government in Abuja on 5 May - operates from Al-Fasher in northern Darfur without consulting the institutions of the SLM.

This situation is a result of what Minawi did on 5 May, said the source. “While 98% of the SLM delegation in Abuja was opposed to the signing, Minawi preferred to sign without taking in consideration the voice of the majority which rejects the deal”.

Since Minawi had to have the vote of the SLM Revolutionary Council of Liberation (Parliament) but since his return to Darfur, Minawi does not want to hold such a meeting “because he knows very well the hostile position of this body to the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA).

Knowing he will be disapproved the SLM institutions Minawi tries de paralyze the SLM institutions and charge trusted people around him of “perilous missions”.

In this context, the coming of al-Tigani al-Tayeb to Khartoum is rejected by the secretary general of the SLM while the delegation is officially charged by Minawi to go there as advance delegation to prepare his coming to the Sudanese capital.


Tayrab statement reveals a new level of power straggle within the SLM- Minawi. While the Commander in Chief of the SLA forces Juma Hagar and his deputy Bakheit Abdelkarim who are opposed to the DPA keep silence among their troops in Darfur, the local commanders do what they want to do without any control.

Under these conditions one can understand why a commander like Salah Mustafa is charged to meet the local commanders to discuss peace implementation and to form military technical committee for DPA implementation.

The dysfunction of the SLM/A institutions and the mounting discontent on the ground can explain why there are reports about Human rights violations: arrest and torture of the commanders opposed to the DPA. Commander Suleiman Jamous formerly SLM humanitarian coordinator since 20 May is detained because he is opposed to the DPA. But Jamous is not the unique case to explain the SLM/A disintegration.

The holdout rebel groups profit from this situation, they recruit commanders opposed to the peace deal like the group of 19 leaded by Sharif Harir who announced last week that many local commanders from Minawi had joined his group. The polarisation among rebel groups in Darfur can also indicate why there is so intense fighting between Minawi and the other groups.

So the question now what is the next step for the Secretary general Tayrab and the high ranking commanders, they “know that with such weakness Khartoum will not implement the DPA, also they are conscious that inter-fighting will not serve the Darfuri cause. So, some think the best way is to convince Minawi to stop the “masquerade” and to rejoin the holdout groups by rejecting the 5 May deal.


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