Home | News    Thursday 6 March 2008

Former Darfur rebel leader urges US to support peace agreement

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By Wasil Ali

March 5, 2008 (WASHINGTON) — Sudan’s senior presidential assistant today urged the US administration to work on reenergizing the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA).

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US President Bush welcomes Minni Minawi at the White House July 25, 2006

Minni Arcua Minawi, who is on a week long visit to Washington, told Sudan Tribune that it is “high time for the US to push politically and financially towards the implementation of the DPA”.

“We want to sustain peace in Darfur and Sudan on the basis of the DPA” he added.

The former rebel leader met with the U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer and is due to meet with the Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte on Thursday.

In May 2006, the SLM signed the DPA with the Sudanese government and its head Minawi was appointed as the senior assistant of the Sudanese president in August of the same year.

But Minawi’s faction accused the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) of ignoring the implementation of the DPA.

The UNAMID disclosed that Khartoum is not remitting payments to the Darfur Reconstruction and Development Fund (DRDF). The latter was formed under the terms of the DPA to administer development projects in the region.

The DPA states that Khartoum must “transfer from the National Revenue Fund into the Darfur Reconstruction and Development Fund an amount equivalent to $300 million for the year 2006, not less than $200 million in 2007 and not less than $200 million in 2008”.

Minawi said that that his meeting with Frazer was “positive” and that his visit aims to highlight the issue of Darfur.

Asked about the specifics demands he made to US officials, Minnawi noted that the US was one of the main brokers of the DPA and that he wanted to make them aware “not of the lack of implementation by Khartoum but rather its non-compliance”.

But the Sudanese official fell short of expressing disappointment over the lack of US administration’s involvement in ensuring that the DPA stays intact.

On the financial aspect of his visit Minawi said that donors must fulfill their obligations to “keep the DPA live”. He also reminded that the former Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zolleick who is now the head of the World Bank was one of the witnesses to the DPA.

International experts estimate 200,000 people have died in the conflict, which Washington calls genocide, a term European governments are reluctant to use. The Sudan government says 9,000 people have been killed

(ST)

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