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Darfur Minnawi returns to Sudanese capital this week: report


October 13, 2008 (KHARTOUM) – The senior presidential assistant Minni Arcua Minnawi is reportedly returning to Khartoum this month following an agreement he signed last month with Sudanese 2nd Vice-President Ali Osman Taha.

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Sudan senior presidential assistant Minni Arcua Minnawi (L) shaking hands with US special envoy Richard Williamson in Darfur August 11, 2008 (US Embassy Photo)

The daily independent Al-Sahafa said that Minnawi will arrive in the Sudanese capital on Thursday to take part in the formal kickoff of the ‘People of Sudan’ initiative launched by president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.

The report conflicts with earlier assertions made by the ex-rebel leader in which he vowed to return only when elements of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) are implemented.

In a related development the Sudanese armed forces signed an agreement with Minnawi military wing establishing a detailed roadmap for restoring security in Darfur through cooperation of both sides.

Minnawi left the Sudanese capital 4 months ago and informally suspended his participation in the government leading to speculations that he defected from the government of national unity.

It was reported at the time that he arrived in the Chadian capital and met with President Idriss Debi. However the former rebel leader firmly denied these reports.

The SLM leader told Sudan Tribune in an interview last month that he has no intention of returning “until there is good will from the dominant National Congress Party”.

He also downplayed the ‘People of Sudan’ initiative saying that the NCP “cannot be in charge of it”.

Two years ago the Sudanese government has signed the DPA with the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) faction led by Minnawi who was appointed as the senior assistant of the Sudanese president in August of the same year.

However, Minnawi’s faction persistently accused the NCP of breaching the terms of the DPA.


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