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Darfur rebels say peace in Sudan should be considered without Doha agreement

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November 18, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said they want a new track for the talks with the Sudanese government in Addis Ababa, stressing they refuse negotiations based on the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

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JEM’s chief negotaitor, Ahmed Tugud (AFP)

The Sudanese government, JEM and Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) will meet on 23 November for talks brokered by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to reach a framework agreement ending war in Darfur.

The framework agreement, which will be in line with the 456 African Union roadmap for a comprehensive peace in Sudan, should include a cessation of hostilities, pave the way for the inclusion of rebel groups in the national dialogue, and approve humanitarian access to civilians in the rebel held areas.

In statements from Addis Ababa, JEM chief negotiator Ahmed Tugud Lissan told Sudan Tribune that the current process, which is facilitated by the AUHIP, aims to achieve a comprehensive peace and democratic transformation in Sudan.

He further said they want the framework agreement that they come to negotiate be in harmony with the notion of two tracks in one peace process, as provided in the peace plan adopted by the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) in September.

“We want to create a new track (in Addis Ababa) parallel to the existing track for the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N). This eventually means that the DDPD and its outputs are no longer debatable or even being considered,” Lissan said.

JEM’s chief negotiator went further to say that they know Khartoum sticks to the DDPD and its rejection to their demand. However, he said the upcoming talks represent a test of the government’s seriousness and its commitment to achieve a genuine peace in Sudan.

“We know that there are challenges, there will be a severe conflict over the agenda, and this may lead to increase the gap between the positions (of the two parties). But that is normal in negotiations, and the we can reach understandings leading to peace in Sudan,” he said.

The African mediation on Monday adjourned the peace talks between the government and the SPLM-N delegations, saying they want to add more elements to the understandings reached by the parties.

In July 2011, the government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) signed the DDPD, a framework agreement aimed at ending the almost 12-year conflict in Darfur. JEM which was the first rebel groups to initiate the Doha process refused the text, demanding more negotiations and proposed a counter framework document.

The SLM-MM was not part of the Doha process. The signatory of the Abuja peace agreement in May 2006 rebelled again against the government by the end of 2010, accusing Khartoum of dishonouring the deal.

(ST)

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