Home | News    Saturday 20 February 2010

Darfur JEM in talks with Khartoum on agreement as Bashir promises imminent peace


February 19, 2010 (WASHINGTON) – The Sudanese government and the Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) are inching closer to signing a “framework agreement” paving the way for full blown negotiations between the two sides after a handful of unsuccessful attempts in the past.

FILE - Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir (C) waves his trademark cane during a visit to the city of Zalingei in West Darfur on April 7, 2009 (Gettey)The delegations from Khartoum and JEM have been stationed in the Arab Gulf state of Qatar for weeks as mediators sought to kick start talks which ran into hurdles particularly on which sides are to negotiate from the Darfuri side.

The Justice and Equality Movement, the Sudan Liberation Movement Revolutionary Forces (SLM-RF) and the Addis Ababa Group comprising eight factions have differed on whether they should integrate in negotiations with Khartoum or simply coordinate positions. The last option has been rejected by JEM considered the most powerful group on the ground.

Complicating the matters is the weight thrown behind SLM-RF and Addis Ababa group by US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration and Libya. Some reports have indicated that JEM was on the verge of withdrawing its delegation from Doha because of the deadlock.

However, today things took a different turn after Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir revealed during a rally that people “would soon hear some good news about the ongoing negotiations for the realization of peace in Darfur”.

Bashir added that this “would represent the end of the fighting in Darfur region and for good” but offered no details.

The JEM official spokesperson Ahmed Hussein Adam told Sudan Tribune by phone from Ndjamena that Chadian president Idriss Deby has been facilitating talks between rebel leader Khalil Ibrahim and Sudanese presidential adviser Ghazi Salah Al-Deen who is in charge of the Darfur dossier.

Adam said that Deby’s motive was his “firm belief that full normalization of ties with Sudan is only attainable when peace is realized in Darfur”.

Sudan and Chad agreed earlier this month to end their long-running proxy war, fought through arming rebels on each other’s territory. Deby shares ethnic links with JEM’s leadership and many analysts have accused him of backing JEM.

The JEM official dismissed Bashir’s talk saying the Sudanese head of state “is jumping way ahead of himself”.

“The talks currently underway are to ink a framework agreement not a comprehensive peace accord as some media has reported. It has been JEM’s demand all along before any negotiations can commence. Once that is signed then we can proceed to peace talks” he said.

The JEM senior official said that this framework agreement would include a “temporary cease fire” and that a full ceasefire would only be agreed to during negotiations as part of the security arrangements. Other items include humanitarian issues, IDP’s, wealth and power sharing, release of Darfuri war prisoners.

He further said that there are few outstanding items before both sides can proceed to sign the framework agreement in Doha likely within the coming week he said with the presence of Deby, Bashir and possibly Ibrahim.

“Doha will remain the venue for negotiations and we will continue to work with AU-UN mediator Mr. Bassole. JEM will also consult with other groups and civil society in the process. We are working for the people of Darfur and Sudan to realize their democratic rights in the country” Adam said.

Adam said that JEM’s position on elections has not changed and that they do not recognize it even if held as planned next April. He reiterated that the government “should not seek to rush negotiations to be concluded by the elections date. We are not bound by that”.

Darfur rebel groups have rejected the census result and the voter registration process instructing their followers to boycott it. Many observers say that the restive region should be excluded from the polls given the security situation.


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  • 20 February 2010 07:05, by Gatwech

    The Bible says when they shall cry peace, peace, then comes sudden destruction.

    That is true, when Bashir talks of peace, he means war in the process.

    Sudan is destined for disintegration soooooooooooooooon!!!

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  • 20 February 2010 07:42, by Dinka Boy

    I do not know what is wrong with Darfurians. Bashier gov,t commit genocide in 2003. Furthermore, they were also used by Bashier govt against SPLM. Wow! they forgot the intimidation that this criminal Bashier did to them.

    Darfurians forgot that Bashier is persuading them because of his campaign and the uncertainties of war between South and North. Please wake up guys other NCP will kill all of you after 2011.

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    • 20 February 2010 12:46, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

      Dear Darfuris, there is a saying that when someone cheats you once shame on him if twice then shame on you. Why are you not learning from Bashir,s lessons against you?

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  • 20 February 2010 13:09, by Jordan Agu’moi

    We need peace that comes from the bottom of the heart of people not this kind of peace where by you are being manipulated by political statements It will be a shameful experience for you people of Darfuri when you go back to the starting point you have already woken up do you want to sleep again? Let the peace you are talking about come from the citizen themselves not from you big and monkeys.

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  • 20 February 2010 22:44, by silake comba

    Observers, conflict practioners and all those involved in finding a solution for the conflict in Darfur are always of the opinion that there can be no solution without first normalizing relation between Chad and Sudan. This is true. This progress in the negociation in Doha is attributed mainly to the meeting between the heads of state in the two countries several days ago.It seems that President Deby has the key to the solution.He can simply say to Khalil " make an agreement with Bashir" and it is soon a fact.It is just a matter of instructions and the same can apply with regard to the conflict in Chad. Rebel leaders are not free or independent in both cases. They don’t have their decision in their hands.Any how, people, the grassroots, want peace.However, the difficulty lies in defining the status of Darur within the upcoming " elections" and the status of these new partners. Although the situation is far from being ripe for the whole election process in the country, election can be conducted in some parts if people are in hurry to do so for one reason or another. In Darfur, I think, it would a more serious solution if people could found a sort of an all including transitional council during the first term following the election until final resolution of the conflict.

    Silake Ali Comba
    - El-Fasher, Darfur.
    - waarhawari@gmail.com

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