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Qatari mediators disregard Darfur former rebels - official


December 30, 2008 (LONDON) — The former rebel group which asked two days ago to be part in future peace talks to end the conflict in the western Sudan region of Darfur, said today that they are not yet been consulted by the Qatari mediation team.

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Minni Minawi

The Qatari officials did not meet or exchange views with the Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minawi despite a number of visits the Qataris made since last September where they were tasked with organising peace negotiations between the Khartoum government and Darfur rebels opposed to the Abuja peace deal, a SLM-MM official said today.

The former chief negotiator of Minawi delegation during the Abuja peace process and the current political secretary of the movement, Abdel Gabar Dosa, told Sudan Tribune that they want to take part in the Qatari mediation because Sudanese government didn’t implement the core of the peace agreement they had signed.

"We remain a principal stakeholder in Darfur crisis and we can not be part of the government delegation because we still have different visions in spite of the signing of Abuja deal" Dosa stressed.

He further pointed out that the SLM-MM troops constitute a force totally independent from the Sudanese army and no security arrangements could be decided or implemented on the ground without the participation of the group.

Nafi Ali Nafi, the deputy chairman of the ruling National Congress Party and government’s top negotiator for Darfur peace process had expressed reservations on the separate participation of the former rebels in a peace process destined to rally the non-signatories to Abuja deal.

Dosa said they are not opposed to the Qatari efforts, disclosing that after the success of the Qatar mediation to end the Lebanese political crisis this year he went to Doha and called to organise a similar conference to solve Darfur conflict.

He added that the Qataris who are acting in good faith may need to understand all the aspects of the five year conflict before to proceed.

Last Sunday, the SLM-MM political secretary accused Khartoum of killing the Abuja agreement and warned to bury it.

The head of the former rebel group who is now the senior presidential assistant and the head of the transitional authority in Darfur visited Libya and Eritrea to seek the support of the two countries. He plans to visit Cairo soon to meet Arab League and Egyptian officials.


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