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Abdel Wahid willing to negotiate: requiring self-determination for Darfur to be discussed

January 26 - 2010 KHARTOUM

(By Radio Dabanga)

The SLM-faction of Abdel Wahid is willing to negotiate peace in Doha if the joint UN and African Union peace negotiator Djibril Bassolé includes the right for self-determination for Darfur on the agenda. Until now, the largest rebel movement of Darfur categorically refused to negotiate with the government.It has persistently stated that it will only negotiate when the Janjaweed are disarmed, security in Darfur is restored and the ‘settlers’ are kicked out from the home areas of displaced Darfurians and refugees. According to the independent Radio Dabanga for Darfur, Abdel Wahid has met with the UN-peace negotiator in Paris. His spokesman, Yahya Bolad, refuses to disclose how and when Abdel Wahid submitted his demands to Bassolé. He denied that a delegation of four men of SLM Abdel Wahid have arrived in the capital of Qatar, Doha where several groups are involved in consultations. The real negotiations are scheduled to resume next month. The government delegation led by Amin Omar Hassan called the new request a way for Abdel Wahid to frustrate the peace talks in Doha: “The government will not allow the Darfurians the right of self-determination and to decide whether they want to become independent from Sudan or not. Abdel Wahid is the only one who is asking for such a right for self-determination”. If Abdel Wahid joins the peace consultations leading to a new round of negotiations, it will be the first time since the failed Abuja agreement in 2006 that the main parties will sit down together. Next year, Southern Sudan will have a referendum deciding whether it wants to remain united with the government of President Al Bashir or to separate and become an independent nation. The Darfur Peace Agreement included only an agreement concerning a referendum for Darfur about the political administration and the creation of one Darfur Region composed of the three existing states. Such a region should be allowed to develop broad constitutional powers. The Darfur Peace Agreement was never implemented and only signed by SLM Minni Minnawi and the Government of Sudan.

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