Home | News    Thursday 11 March 2010

US envoy racing against time to conclude Darfur peace process

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March 10, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration said today that it is imperative that a peace deal be reached in the war ravaged region of Darfur prior to the April elections and suggested that the crisis there has shifted attention from the South ahead of the 2011 referendum.

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U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration (Reuters)

“There is going to be a lot of things that are keeping us from focusing on Darfur…. That’s why in my view we have this little window where we really need to get the framework solidified. And then we can reach out and really put some flesh on the bones” Gration said.

The US special envoy made the remarks in Nairobi where he attended the extraordinary summit on Sudan organized by Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

Last month rebels of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) signed a temporary ceasefire as part of a framework agreement that is intended to lead to a broader peace deal. Formal peace talks are expected to start shortly.

Sudan said at the time that they expect a final peace deal by March 15 though JEM rebels now say this is unlikely.

Gration said the focus on Darfur hurt monitoring of the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between North and South.

“Frankly we were pulled off message and off focus when Darfur happened, and Darfur sort of overshadowed what was happening in terms of implementation of the CPA," the US official said.

“So things just sort of muddled along. Last June, we pulled together a conference for supporters of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and we started at that time talks,” Gration said.

The US envoy will fly to Doha to push for progress on talks between Khartoum and JEM. The rebel group is uneasy about the prospects of Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), a newly formed rebel umbrella, joining the talks.

JEM refused to join at the negotiating table saying that LJM ought not to hold separate, simultaneous and parallel talks with Khartoum. JEM was against allowing them to be involved in discussions with the government as separate group. The powerful rebel movement says they want one sole rebel delegation in the talks, requesting the newly formed rebel umbrella to merge with them.

However, Ahmed Tugud, JEM chief negotiator, told Sudan Tribune on Monday they agreed with the mediation to start the direct peace talks with the Sudanese government on Tuesday, ending the two weeks of deadlock.

“This is really one of the first very serious agreements that we’ve had,” Gration said of the ceasefire deal while stressing other rebel groups should participate.

“If there’s going to be a comprehensive and lasting peace in Darfur, all of the rebel groups really need to be involved,” he said.

Gration said that the next few weeks there will be a “big focus on the election. There is not going to be a lot of bandwidth to be doing Darfur and negotiations in Doha.”

JEM have insisted that elections be delayed to allow people in Darfur and Kordofan to take part, something which Khartoum rejects.

However, today the Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir hinted that the demand could be accommodated for Darfur only by holding “make up elections” in parts of the region after it stabilizes following a peace agreement.

The International Criminal Court )ICC) last year issued an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes in Darfur, where the United Nations estimates 300,000 have died in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

Bashir hopes a victory in April’s presidential election will legitimize his government in defiance of the warrant.

(ST)

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  • 11 March 2010 07:21, by Gatwech

    Dear readers,

    Re-read and analyze what these two messages mean from Bashir.

    ONE: "However, today the Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir hinted that the demand could be accommodated for Darfur only by holding “make up elections” in parts of the region after it stabilizes following a peace agreement."

    What would be the use of such "make up elections" in Darfur after the rest of the country voted for presidential candidate. Would Darfur’s make up elections include voting for the president? And what if the outcome is announced, would the Darfur votes be considered to reverse the outcome of the presidential election? This is nonsense!

    TWO: "Bashir hopes a victory in April’s presidential election will legitimize his government in defiance of the warrant."

    That is exactly what he wants. Elections to Bashir means nothing other than rigging it to gain legitimacy that he would use as a bargaining chip with the international community, particularly with the UN Security Council, for his ICC situation.

    Postpone this good-for-nothing pre-rigged election that would only bring post-election violence in the South. US’ Gration should push for postponement of the elections and conduct the referendum as scheduled in January 2011.

    repondre message

    • 11 March 2010 07:52, by Gabriel Green

      Gatwech,

      Don,t be superised of those statement, Abel Alier was sellected by Bashir and Alier has the list to announce at the end of day in April and list goes like this:

      1.Omer Basir wins election 51%

      2.Salva Kiir Mayardit wins election 59%

      and the list goes according to the arrangement that is already set.

      repondre message

      • 11 March 2010 08:03, by sheeple

        Rosicrucian

        repondre message

      • 11 March 2010 10:42, by Truth Defender

        Dear Barjok,

        What do you mean by this statement? Will you not feel happy if Kiir Mayardit wins April’s elections. My friend, Kiir will win whether you like it or not. The people who are enemies of South Sudanese cause are doomed to die.

        Thanks

        Truth Defender:
        South Sudanese Nationalist

        repondre message

        • 12 March 2010 06:06, by Jongoase Dayey

          Hey! my friend what is wrong with Kiir if won by 59%, the guy meant in democratic way; don’t give him wrong, and who ever has the power never lost, this 99.9% African way, so that not Bashir or Salva are winners, majority of African leader are always winners. God help poor African citizen

          repondre message

    • 11 March 2010 10:37, by maumau

      However much US tries to bring peace in Darfur, it will fail because these guys have refused to quest their self determination under one umbrella just like Somalis. Today, you hear one faction signs an aggreement with another, the next day, you hear they ambushed each other or UNAMID. What a confusion in Darfur!!!. Wake up and make a long queue under one leader.

      MAUMAU.

      repondre message

  • 11 March 2010 08:31, by Fortysix

    Gration: focus your attention on CPA at the meantime. If CPA is implemented fully, then you can be sure that Al Bashir will also honor other agreements in the pipeline.

    repondre message

    • 11 March 2010 12:37, by Lukudu

      Long before Mr Gration was appointed as US envoy to Sudan, there were already arrangements in place to be followed such as the CPA requirements. Soon after the appointment of Mr Gration, Southern Sudanese became uncertain of the implementation of the CPA for many reasons. Mr Gration has not only proved to pessimistic of the CPA but he seems to divert the right ways of CPA implementation. I believe that Mr Gration is either innocent of what the CPA is all about or he has his own hidden agenda. Everyone including those who can not read or write can say yes Mr Gration seems pessimistic about the CPA. The reason for me saying this is that Mr Gration always try to combine up different issues as if they were the same issues or happened at the same time and for one reason. This man needs to understand that the so called CPA has nothing to do with the issues of Darfur and SPLA/M was not part of any rebel group that formed early or later such as those in Darfur. The responsibilities of achieving what were signed during the CPA rests with the people of Southern Sudan and those parties which were partners to the CPA. As we read about the CPA along with as many documents, we have not read any information that says the issue Darfur needs to be solved as part of the CPA. Everytime an issue arise, Mr Gration combines it with other issues not knowing that there are as many marginalised groups in Sudan as long as the Islamic government of the NCP continue to reign. Everyone has his/her/their own demands and we have been demanding our rights since 1955 up until this time. the marginalised people of Darfur are not in hurry just to catch up with the CPA and hope for any benefits from it if they want their real right to be granted.

      CPA was signed, implemented half way and need to be evaluated for its success, it does not need to be mixed up with other demands that we the people of Southern Sudan are not part of and do not need to talk about.

      repondre message

  • 11 March 2010 21:02, by murlescrewed

    The problem with peace processes in Sudan is not the lack of will to merely reach an accord but rather how it is implemented. JEM is just joining a long list of groups that have signed peace with Khartoum but it has not faithfully implemented. Until Khartoum starts taking peace more seriously, there is little incentive to just sign peace for the sake of one.

    repondre message

  • 12 March 2010 06:55, by Majok e Deng

    Get this prick out of Sudan, Scott Gration, he is nothing other than a paid agent by Bashir regime.

    repondre message

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