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‘Abu Garda requests Qatar to freeze Darfur funds’: sources

July 29 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Chairman of the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), Bahar Idris Abu Garda, January 2015 (Sudan Vision Daily)
Chairman of the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), Bahar Idris Abu Garda, January 2015 (Sudan Vision Daily)

The chairman of the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), Bahar Idris Abu Garda, has reportedly requested the government of Qatar to freeze its funding of development projects in Darfur.

Well-informed sources reported to Radio Dabanga that Abu Garda raised a strongly worded memorandum to the Qatari Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud.

In the letter he demands the suspension of all financial transactions to the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), until the signatories of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) have reached “a unified programme of action after the Liberation and Justice Movement split into two political parties in January.

The LJM, under the leadership of Dr El Tijani Sese, signed the DDPD with the Sudanese government in Qatar, July 2011. Sese became the head of the DRA since its establishment in February 2012.

As outlined in the DDPD, the DRA is a regional authority with both executive and legislative functions. Being the principal instrument for the implementation of the peace accord in collaboration with the Sudanese government and with the support of the international partners, the DRA is envisaged to play a central role in enhancing the implementation of the post-conflict development projects and activities in Darfur.

In January, the LJM interim board announced the ousting of Sese as its chairman, after fierce criticism regarding the postponement of parts of the security arrangements and the failure of implementing development projects in Darfur.

Sese then formed the National Liberation and Justice Movement (NLJM), which was registered as political party in February. The LJM also took part in the April national election as a political party.

According to the sources, Abu Garda sent the memorandum after he had learned about a recent visit of Sese and Amin Hassan Omar, head of the governmental Darfur Peace Follow-up Office, to Qatar. They allegedly requested Doha for extra financial support, “in the absence of the other party that signed the DDPD”.

Abu Garda further demanded Sese to “disclose the figures and facts of the funds received by the DRA from the Sudanese government and the state of Qatar, and to clarify its expenses to the public.”

On Monday, the head of the Darfur Peace Follow-up Office denied the rumours about fraud in a meeting with DRA officials in Nyala, capital of South Darfur. He said that “the money is safely kept in banks”.

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