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Chambas proposes entrusting Mbeki with Darfur peace file

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September 13, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Darfur joint peace mediator Mohamed Ibn Chambas has made a proposed to the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) that the head of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) be entrusted with the Darfur file.

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Former South African president Thabo Mbeki now heads the African Union’s mediation team for Sudan’s Two Areas (Photo: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)

Chambas made his proposal last Friday in a briefing to AUPSC where he spoke about the recent joint activities undertaken with Thabo Mbeki in line with a previous decision asking them to synchronise their efforts to bring peace in Sudan.

The two African officials met with Sudanese rebel groups and agreed with them that a comprehensive political settlement is the ideal option to resolve Sudanese problem. They also met with the Qatari deputy prime minister Ahemd bin Abdallah Al-Mahmoud who is tasked with Darfur file. Also they associated the UN Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan (SESSS) to their meetings with Darfur rebels and briefed the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on the recent developments.

He “recommended to the Council the integration of mediation efforts on Darfur and Sudan into one robust mechanism, under the leadership of President Thabo Mbeki, the Chairperson of the AUHIP, in order to harness the respective strengths of, the AUHIP, UNAMID, SESSS, IGAD, Qatar and the Arab League into a synchronised, coherent and programmatic mediation structure,” said a statement UNMAID released on Saturday.

Chambas who heads also the hybrid peacekeeping operation in Darfur expressed UNAMID readiness to provide the necessary logistical support to implement any agreement that leads to stop war in the region or the integration of rebel combatants into the regular forces.

The former UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari, worked hard to have the post of the joint chief mediator in Darfur saying “there is not peace to keep in Darfur let me make peace first”.

He finally got the job after the resignation of the former joint peace mediator Djibril Bassolé in May 2011. The latter also suffered from the repeated interferences of the AUHIP chief who at the time proposed a “holistic approach” for Darfur conflict.

Since the launch of the presidential initiative in January 2014, Sudanese government, opposition and rebel groups agree on the need for a comprehensive and inclusive process to resolve the ongoing conflicts and to restore a democratic regime in the country.

However, they are still at odds on how to proceed as the rebel speaks about a cessation of hostilities and the government says only ready for a permanent ceasefire agreement. On the other side, the opposition parties stress on the need for a transitional government but the ruling National Congress Party speaks about a national unity government.

In his speech before the AUPSC, Mbeki said he sensed the seriousness of all the Sudanese actors to hold a comprehensive process to end the Sudanese problem.

He also informed the Council that president Omer al-Bashir welcomed the agreement on national dialogue and constitutional process signed on 4 September and pledged to free the political prisoners and detainees as part of confidence building measures and to release political freedoms before to begin the internal process.

Mbeki is scheduled to present a similar briefing to the UN Security Council on 17 September about the recent activities to bring peace in Sudan.

In his speech UN special envoy to Sudan, Haile Menkerios, welcomed the progress achieved in order to achieve peace in Sudan and expressed UN support to the ongoing efforts.

(ST)

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