Home | News    Friday 24 April 2009

Five Darfur rebel delegations arrive in Qatar


April 23, 2009 (DOHA) —Delegations from five rebel groups arrived at the Arab Gulf state of Qatar to discuss joining a stalled peace process that started last month with Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

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File photo showing Darfur rebels waiting to board a UN plane to Sirte for peace talks, at Juba Airport, October 24, 2007 (Reuters)

The Qatari based Al-Raya newspaper said the group will hold consultations with officials in Doha and Joint UN-AU mediator to reach common grounds on the Darfur peace process.

The rebels that flew to Qatar signed an agreement last month in Libya to take part in the Doha peace process with one delegation.

The signatories of the common ground deal are: the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) – Unity, SLM led by Khamis Abdullah Abakr, the United Resistance Front (URF), the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Idriss Azrag faction, and the SLM- Juba faction.

The SLM Unity leading figure Sayed Sharif Jar El-Nabi told the newspaper that they are seeking clarifications from Qatari officials about the negotiations and outstanding issues in Darfur and the quest for solving the conflict “in its entirety”.

“The next stage is one of solution, peace and dialogue” he said.

However the SLM-Unity official stressed that they will not join the talks until aid groups expelled by Khartoum last month are allowed to return.

Darfur JEM suspended its participation in the Doha peace process, one month after signing a goodwill agreement with the Sudanese government in the Qatari capital in retaliation to the ejection of relief groups.

Sudan accused the groups of collaborating with the International Criminal Court (ICC) which has issued an arrest warrant for president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.

Qatar pushed JEM to drop the link between the Sudan’s decision and resumption of peace talks.

Jar El-Nabi dismissed JEM talk about certain groups that should be allowed to take part in negotiations based on their size on the ground.

“JEM does not have the real criteria to know who is bigger and smaller and we are talking about a cause here not who is big and small…..JEM’s position is unacceptable” he added.

Last year Darfur JEM staged a bold attack and fought fierce battles with the Sudanese army on the outskirts of the capital before they were repulsed.

However in February both JEM and Khartoum signed a goodwill agreement in the Qatari capital, pledging to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the six-year conflict in the western Sudan region of Darfur but a date for the full blown talks has not been fixed yet.


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