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More Darfur groups demand to join Juba peace process

Chief mediator announce 4th postponement of talks Sudan's peace talks in Juba on 9 May 2020 (ST photo)April 19, 2020 (JUBA) - Armed groups have demanded to join the ongoing peace negotiations in Juba between the Sudanese government and the armed groups to end Darfur conflict.

Recently, the head of the Sudan Liberation Movement, Minni Arko Minnawi welcomed the inclusion of groups not affiliated with the Sudanese Revolutionary Front in the negotiations in the negotiations for peace in Western Sudan.

In separate letters addressed to the South Sudanese mediation seen by Sudan Tribune, two factions of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by Mansour Arbab now called "New JEM" and another faction of JEM led by Abdallah Banda requested to join the talks.

"We want to participate in the peace process and cooperate with everyone to reach a comprehensive peace," said Arbab.

Arbab pointed out that this may be an opportunity to achieve political unity between the different groups, pointing out that unity is the first demand of the war victims, including the displaced people and refugees.

For his part, a leading member of JEM-banda, Norrein Bersham, called on the South Sudanese mediation to give special attention to their request to join the Juba process.

"Allowing all Darfurian groups that have an armed presence on the ground, including JEM forces, will create needed conditions to achieve a comprehensive solution to the Darfur issue," he added.

It is worthwhile to mention that the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Banda who is accused of taking part in an attack on African Union peacekeepers in September 2007.

The Sudanese government, on Thursday, sent a letter to the SRF about ways to include Darfur groups that are not SRF members in the negotiations.

SRF Spokesman Osama Said told Sudan Tribune they are still discussing the matter and no decision has been taken yet on this matter.

Other two groups since several months have demanded to join the process: Sudanese Alliance chaired by Khamis Abdallah Abkar former Vice Chairman of the unified Sudan Liberation Movement and another SLM faction led by Ahmed Ibrahim Youssef.

Khartoum is keen about Abakr’s inclusion as he represents the Massalit tribe.