Al Bashir pardons five JEM-Sudan convicts
President Omar Al Bashir issued a presidential decree this weekend, pardoning five convicts of the Justice and Equality Movement faction, led by “Dabajo” Bakhit Abdallah Abdelkarim (JEM-Sudan).
JEM-Sudan Secretary of Political Affairs, Nahar Osman Nahar, welcomed the decree, though he commented that it was expected more than a year ago.
The rebel faction broke away from the mainstream JEM in 2012, and signed the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) in April 2013. It has complained more than once about the “slowness” of the Sudanese government in implementing the DDPD objectives.
The former rebels suspended their membership of the joint Darfur Peace Committee with the government, in January last year, in protest of the delay in the implementation of the peace accord by the governmental DDPD Follow-up Office.
The following month, the first 13 of more than 80 JEM-Sudan prisoners were released.
In June, leader Abdelkarim travelled to Khartoum to pressure the authorities to accelerate the integration of JEM-Sudan ex-combatants into the Sudanese regular forces, as stipulated in the DDPD security arrangements protocol.
He demanded the immediate removal of the obstacles stalling the implementation of the DDPD security arrangements, giving the authorities a deadline of 72 hours to clarify the issue.
On 24 August, the integration procedure of about 1,350 former JEM-Sudan combatants into the Sudanese military and police forces was launched in North Darfur’s capital of El Fasher.
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