Home | Comment & Analysis    Tuesday 29 June 2010

Doha forum is hardly conducive to resolve the crisis in Darfur


By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

June 28, 2010 — The current venue for the Darfur peace negotiations in the Qatari capital Doha has turned abjectly flawed since the joint UN-AU Mediation allowed to be cluttered with a massive number of people unrelated directly as parties to the talks. The Doha platform has become as though an open market for supply and demand or a public auction where nobody knows the negotiating parties, whereas the parties for peace should have been the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) who are fighting each other on the ground, in the battle field in the Greater Darfur Region. This turn of events is due to the Mediation’s lack of the basic knowledge of the process and methods for peace negotiations. Moreover, it is also attributable to the dearth of understanding of the root causes and the complexity of the crisis in Darfur on the part of the host country or as an even worse is the lack of impartiality in treating all the rivals in the Darfur dispute equally and bias in favour of Government of Sudan (GoS) against the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The rebellion of the people of Sudan in Darfur, seven odd years ago, was against the central government of Sudan which exercised chronic injustice, systematic marginalisation and denial of legitimate rights for the development of the region.

Observers believe that the unsystematic partial measures which the Mediator Mr. Djibrill Yipènè Bassolé trying to apply would lead to the emergence of a new crisis similar to or even worse than what happened in the infamous Abuja agreement in Nigeria on the 5th May 200 when the then President Obasanjo of Nigeria and Robert B. Zoellick, US Deputy Secretary of State pressurised and duped one of the parties, Minni Arko Minnawi, current Senior Presidential Assistant and Head of the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority (TDRA) , to thumb the abortive DPA. As if history is repeating itself this time too, but in the Gulf state of Qatar.

Analysts assert that unilateral solutions pursued by the Mediator and the host country in the Doha platform will not resolve the seven-year crisis in Darfur. Any political solution to the issue in the Darfur Region must be comprehensive. The newly created group, Liberation and Justice Movement, that the GoS is currently trying to negotiate with has no military presence on the ground in Darfur. This group can only be categorised as a Civil Society Organisation at best or at its worst a National Congress Party (NCP) Government ploy designated to turn the situation in the Doha venue to its own advantage. Mr. Bassolé needs not to become a carbon copy of his predecessor Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, the former Tanzanian Prime Minister, who was the mediator for the Abuja Darfur peace process! On the other hand, it is more prudent for Jonathan Scott Gration the retired Major General of the United States Air Force, special envoy of the US president to Sudan to use his “Mandate and the authority to drive U.S. policy on Sudan with the view to enhancing fair and serious peace negotiations for a political solution that will give the people of Darfur a meaningful voice."

Sustainable and comprehensive negotiated peace in Darfur is the strategic goal of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). In order to return to the Doha Forum (JEM) demands the following:

• Impartiality of the host country Qatar and distancing itself from becoming a party in the dispute.

• Separation of the role of the joint UN-AU Mediation from that of the Host country Qatar.

• Clear road map with One Path by identifying the warring Parties for the negotiations.

• Participation of the International Community members, United States of America (US) , European Union (EU), the African Union (AU) the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as guarantors for the negotiated peace agreement.

• Removal of the huge number of people (more than 500, currently living in three five-star hotels, who have nothing to do with negotiations, in order to avoid confusion.

• Facilitate the return of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) chairman Dr. Khalil Ibrahim Mohamed to access his bases in Darfur to meet and consult with his forces and citizens around the peace negotiations with a view to contribute positively to the measures that enhance the resolution of the crisis in Darfur and restore the legitimate rights to the people of Sudan in Darfur.

• Sudan’s government to avoid its intransigence and be serious about reaching to sustainable comprehensive peace in Darfur through constructive negotiations and not resort to prevarication to buy time and prolong the suffering of the people of Sudan in Darfur.

These are the basic and the minimum demands that JEM has put forward to the Mediator and the host country. Nevertheless, it seem as though they have fallen on deaf ears and met with underestimation, irony and indifference. Analysts assert that any agreement struck in relation to peace in Darfur without the participation of JEM will not be sustainable and would be doomed to failure and return to the square one of the damned war, which came on the green and the dry and destroyed the lives and the livelihood of the Sudanese citizens in Darfur and Kordofan.

It seems that many actors calling for Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to return to the Doha platform to continue the negotiations that had been hampered by the ongoing war in Darfur, but the rebel group says that their return is subject to substantial reforms to be made in the platform as previously mentioned in order to provide a climate conducive to lead to an honourable peace just and sustainable comprehensive peace that would put an end to the crisis in Darfur forever. The Question that imposes itself at this juncture and moment with urgency is whether the mediation and the host country are ready to meet those demands within a certain time frame? That is the sixty-four dollars question awaiting a satisfactory answer from HE Ahmed Abdullah al-Mahmoud, Qatari State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Mr. Djibrill Yipènè Bassolé, joint UN-AU Mediator.

Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is the Deputy Chairman of the General Congress for the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). He can be reached at Mahmoud.abaker@gmail.com

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  • 29 June 2010 05:35, by mohammed ali

    Oh,is it only JEM who is related to the talks? Is it that all the mediators "lack the basic knowlede of the process and methodes of peace negotiation" all the UN,AU,USA,EU who are mediating now and who mediated in the past lack this knowledge and only JEM members have that knwledge? Are all mediatots, in the past and at present, impartial and biased in favour of the government? I think Sudanese people and Darfuri people and the interational community by and large, are fed up with the grandiose claims of the JEM. JEM should understand that they are very small faction within the rebillion groups, even if they are millitary strong.I am sure if any elections is held in Darfur JEM will not win a single seat!

    It is not that obsevers think that Basoole is unsystematic, on the contrary they see him very systematic and patient very dedicated to the peace process.The problem is not with Basoole,Salim Ahmed Salim or the previous Swdish diplomt , the problem is with the JEM, who want to be the sole negotiator in the name of Darfur.Darfuri people donnot and will not accept them as their representative.JEM should unerstand this simple fact!

    No analyst asserts that the mediator or the host country are pursuing unilateral solutions.They donnot assert, but they know for a fact that JEM is pursuing AL TURABI’S agenda to bring him back to power.Analyst see that the host country is offering as much as possible support to get peace for the Darfuri people as they pledged to donate one billion dollars for the development of Darfur .

    As for Gration he is pursuing his mandate by the book and he is getting all the support from the American President and his administration and he will never be held accountable by JEM members!

    It is funny to here the arrogancy you are talking with! You are dictating conditions as if you have won a war aginst all the parties including the mediators, the host country,and all of the international community.It is grandiose to give orders in such a way...remove 500 people who are staying in 5 star hotels...you can not talk in the name of Darfuri alone , they donnot want you to do that.

    It is high time that JEM appreciate the suffering of the people of Darfur and Khalil, his brother,Ali El hag’s and Turabi’s expulsion from Al Basheer government should not be used or abused as a cause to increase the agony of Darfur people.

    It is high time for JEM to know their size militarly and politicaly and should moniter the dwindling regional and international support they are getting.Everywhere people are fed up with JEM.

    Khalil shoul be wise and move directly to Doha and join the negotiation as soon as possible.Politics is never static neither is power! Otherwise he will be loosing his last chance, for if a peace agreement is reached ( as it seems the condition) he cannot this time or his supporters stand against it! Things look different ,now, from ABUJA. The support they were getting will not be there and the so called international community may not be forgiving, as you will be standing on it’s way!!!

    Tegani Sisi is very popular in Darfur and he was elected before as governor of Darfur and if Khalil is honest with himself he should admit that he will never be able to stand a competion against him.

    Jumbing to the " chairs "’ of power in Khartoum on top of the blood and the skulls of Darfurians, while claiming that you are figting in their name is neither fair nor it is just.They sufferd more than enough!

    repondre message

    • 29 June 2010 13:54, by Paul Ongee

      To Mohmed Ali,

      U have no idea about what u r writing with respect to Darfur issues. Why don’t u try to tell Khartoum about the root causes of political problems facing Sudan since independence? Why Sudan has been at war with itself for over a century? Why did Khartoum fail to formulate a policy that is inclusive or at least democratic to avoid the current political crisis facing the country in every angle? The basic human freedom is not only for Khartoum policy makers but for all Sudanese to live in peace with each other regardless of religious or cultural differences.

      The Anglo-Egyptian administrators granted the so-called independence of 1956 with the hope of getting it finally translated into action by Khartoum for all Sudanese. But Khartoum took it for granted and misused the golden opportunity to unify the country politically or developmentally. However, the time has come since 2005 that "Sudan will never be the same." Remember that now Sudan will never be the same unless a "New Sudan" is created on a new basis.

      For South Sudan, it ’s already a country in the making bordering 6 countries namely Islamic Republic of North Sudan (since the policy makers in Khartoum are obsessed with Islamic culture rather than diversity), Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, DRC, and Central Africa Republic. Khartoum should not panic when South Sudan and other regions or parts of Sudan are longing for the same basic human freedom exclusively enjoyed by successive Islamic-based governments. Being a landlocked country didn’t begin with South Sudan and it’s not an issue to be debated on the pretext of unity that culturally or racially marginalizes and deprives Sudanese of basic human freedom.

      To Dr. Mohmoud A. Suleiman

      I have important questions to you. Why don’t u have a united front to fight for freedom or underdevelopment in Darfur? The wording in the first paragraph that reads "...the rivals in Darfur dispute..." makes little or no sense at all especially when you’re fighting for liberation or underdevelopment in the region. Factional fighting is a natural thing in a movement but cannot bring about the desired outcome you are claiming. South Sudan has immeasurable experience in fighting revolutionary wars and negotiating peace. Why don’t you learn something from Southern Sudanese who have fought two revolutionary wars against Khartoum? Victory always comes when a tool is unified not factionalized as noted in Darfur. We live in this world under any circumstances by compromise and concessions although some leaders hold extreme views. An army is a tool NOT to be factionalized or democratized. In any case, governance can certainly be decentralized to promote peace dividend and facilitate service delivery to the people in need.

      Paul Ongee
      Khartoum, Sudan

      repondre message

      • 30 June 2010 11:30, by mohammed ali


        I have never talked about the south here!

        I just want to remind you that the war in the south before independence and we did not started it, yu have started it by butchering civillians in Torit as there was no northern arm there at that time!

        Second thing , we didn’t make these borders, it was made by those who taught you to hate us.I think your blame and hatred should be directed towards those who make you stuck with us!We didn’t invade you or occupy you.It is true we should refuse the annexion of the south to us and leave them live their own life, that was wrong, as it is wrong to true to advocate unity.

        Third, JEM is more radical Islamist than anyone the government and Darfur is the only part of Sudan which is 100 % muslim.The sultanat of Darfur was one of the great Islamic states in Africa with very strong connections with other Islamic state in west Africa which wre destried by the white-man enslavors of AFRICA. JEM is the military branch of Turabi’s party.

        Fourth, I am not panicking at all, why should I? If you are truely in Khartoum just catch anyone on the street and ask him wether he wants unity or secession, and if you got less than 99% for secession come and tell me. I have never said that the south is land lock or not and it is not my problem, if you become the richest or not? These are your problems and it is you who is going to face it , it is not me.Just donnot panic!

        If you are so keen on secession and donnot want to be opressed by the Islamist jalabba and treated as a second class , I find it very hard to understand what compells you to remain still in Khartoum.If I were in your place , I would immediate leave to the " New Sudan " paradise.

        Fifth, Darfurian want to remain within the Sudan and didn’t ask for secession. Donnot waste your time!

        repondre message

    • 29 June 2010 19:28, by Machingela gai

      I am confused by your comment.
      Is it true that minorities have no right to say anything wrong in any given situation even inside their own house? Ibrahim is good to be isolated that way as he came from a small tribe, but what about Bashir and those elites in Khartoum who are ruling the country? Are they not minorities? Why don’t you speak up against them for that so that they can give up power to big tribes?
      Why don’t you, the northerners give up leadership because you are minority Arabs compare to sud Africans population?

      If the issue of Ibrahim and Jem can be a debating subject of the time, then all Arabs from Sudan have no right to dominate majority black because they are minority in that category.

      I thought in the past you are one of those few good Arabs who speak from the heart, but I learned differently at last. You are one of the manipulators who can hide with intention to harm people. You are no longer hiding your colors.
      Your written comment, however, is in the tone of divide and rule startegy. And to rest sure you, Darfur will never be the same no matter what comes against it. No Matter what you will do to Ibrahim and JEM, still the call for freedom will never be overshadowed by Khartoum’s interest. You better cryout for the empty compound you will live in forever. The central, west and east are facing Southern direction. What would you do about it?
      You stop thinking inward instead of outward in order to reach the help you longing for.

      repondre message

      • 30 June 2010 10:45, by mohammed ali

        You people have no idae and really confused! Who is Khartoum you are talking about? Is there a race or a tribe called Khartoum?

        The endogenous people of Khartoum are the most marginalised people in Sudan.All of their land had been confiscated by people coming from different parts of Sudan.All those people living in Amarat, Rhyad, Manchia erkaweit are not from Khartoum! Most of them are politicans who came from north, west, south and east Sudan.
        They came in the name of the margin and they setteled in Khartoum forever!They have the power to confiscate land and own it, in the name of the law!Recently 1000 politicians from the south requested the governer of Khartoum to allocate plots for them to sttel in Khartou , probably to make unity attractive!

        Again if you just go just for very few kilometers outside Khartoum in the Khartoum suburbs it is as underdeveloped as anyother part in Sudan! As they, say a southerner and they mentioned Machar went on a tour just to the north of Khartoum and when he saw their condition , he said these people are only lacking a jungle to start a rebillion movement!

        Ther are some Darfuri people who are much wealty than anyone from Khartoum, and there are many people in Khartoum who are much poor than anyone in the South.Of course it is the capital and something will trickle down to the poor.

        Untill only recently most of Khartoum was from mud houses!All of Erkweet was mud houses up to the late seventies and early eighties, and mud houses still exist in Buri and Aljreaf who are the endogeous people of Khartoum.

        So please Khartoum is not one thing!

        repondre message

        • 1 July 2010 00:21, by Machingela gai

          You didn’t answer me. I know now that you do not have answers to those questions asked above. So don’t beat around the bush. It is better to keep quiet and sing abcd song with undefined tune. I never asked and will not ask you for the definition of Khartoum, but what is going on there was the center point of writing. Nor did I ask you of who live there. No. We are talking about Darfur’s issue and your wick activities, period.
          Khartoum is just a place where dirty politics and hate start.
          It is a place where lairs rule than truth tellers. Nothing is important there than those evil behaviors of its kind.
          Don’t lecture that to me for I know it better than you.

          repondre message

          • 3 July 2010 01:04, by mohammed ali


            I thought my answer was clear! Even Khalil was part of this government , why didn’t he talk about Darfur when he was one of the " mujahdeen" who fought the war in the south? Why didn’t he talk about Darfur when he was a minister? Why didn’t he talk when his brother was the maneger of "aza cargo company" which belongs to SAF? Why did he or Ali Alhag talk about Darfur when Ali Alhag was the minister looking after all the state goverment? Why did he and Ali Alhag went to Darfur to excute BOLAD who rebelled against "Khartoum" in the name of Darfur , when they were both ministers?

            At that time, both of them were Khartoumians , but when Turabi was kiked out of the government they joined him.This has nothing to do with Khartoum.

            The problem with you is that you nothing about Darfur, but you are just riding the of hatered towads Khartoum!

            repondre message

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