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UNAMID verifies LJM positions in Darfur before disarmament process

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March 11, 2012 (KHARTOUM) - The United Nations African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) announced today it completed the verification of the positions held by the former rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) who signed a peace agreement with Khartoum in July last year.

In accordance with the Doha document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), UNAMID which chairs the ceasefire commission has to support the disarmament of the former rebels and the implementation process of the security arrangement generally.

Last Friday, the head of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), Tijani el-Sissi who is also LJM chairman, criticised UNAMID for delaying the implementation of the security arrangements which had to start after the establishment of the ceasefire body last August.

The hybrid mission this weekend ended the verification of military sites held by the LJM fighters, announced UNAMID, in a press release extended to Sudan Tribune on Sunday. The process which started on 5 March is seen as a key measure to disengage and redeploy troops of the Sudanese army and former rebel group.

"The verification is crucial in the final security arrangement of the DDPD because it determines the number of the combatants, and will also determine what is required in terms of logistic support," said UNAMID’s Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba who chairs the ceasefire commission.

The Rwandan general further pointed out that the "outcome of the exercise will subsequently be used in the other phases, including demobilization and reintegration".

Sudan and the former rebel group signed the DDPD on 14 July 2011 after more than two years of talks in the Qatari capital Doha. Another rebel group, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), refused to sign the peace document and asked for more talks.

Holdout rebel groups clashed recently with the army after more nine months of calm in the region, since July 2011. JEM and two factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) and Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) formed a new alliance with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) aiming to topple the regime.

However, the United Nations and African Union say they have resolved to bring rebel groups to join the DDPD. They plan a tripartite meeting this month in Addis Ababa with the Sudanese government to discuss a new road map for peace in Darfur.

(ST)

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