The Sovereignty Council and the security apparatus bear the main responsibility for the deterioration of the security situation in Darfur, says Minni Minawi, Governor of Darfur. “We ourselves have made arrangements to address the impact of armed conflicts on the border with the Central African Republic and Chad.”
In an interview with Radio Dabanga on Wednesday, Governor Minawi, leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement-MM faction that signed the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) in October 2020, lamented the delayed implementation of the agreement.
“This is not only caused by the current confusing political situation, but by a certain kind of politics we have been witnessing since Sudan became independent. It is always difficult for politicians to set priorities. We arrived more than three years ago, and now we are quarrelling with the military. Well, this is Sudan.”
As for the deteriorating security situation in Darfur, he said that the Sovereignty Council and the security apparatus bear the main responsibility.
“If the Sovereignty Council wants to stop the problems, they should accelerate the approval of the Regional Authority Law. “I told the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that the Darfur Regional Government is shackled by the delay in the approval of this law by the Sovereignty Council, and therefore they bear a moral and political responsibility for the continuing insecurity.”
He also lays the blame for the rampant insecurity in Darfur on the former transitional government and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC). “After the fall of the Al Bashir regime, our vision was to address all the root causes for the Sudanese problem, but unfortunately haste and power struggles delayed the implementation of the JPA,” he said. “We formed a transitional government without taking the dismantling of the various militias and shadow brigades in the country into account.”
The Darfur governor further confirmed that the continuing skirmishes at the border with CAR and Chad have a large impact on the region. “Any problem that occurs in the neighbouring countries, affects the region. The Darfur government itself has put arrangements in place and our people are working as volunteers in the border areas to address the expected shocks. We have also established a High Native Administration Council, for the first time in Darfur, to help reduce the effects as well.”
Asked about the relation with the Forces for FFC-Central Council that is leading the negotiations with the military junta, Minawi accused the alliance of monopolising power “to form a new, stunted government”.
“The so-called Framework Agreement should be improved and made more comprehensive, but the FFC-CC “is scrambling forward with the same old political mentality aimed at monopolising power. We entirely reject this mentality we fought against for 20 years, and we are still combating it until we have adopted a mindset of accepting the other in equality, justice, and their Sudanese identity regardless of their culture and the language they speak at home. These are the values we strive to achieve.”
The Sudan Liberation Movement-MM is against any review of the JPA, as agreed on in the Framework Agreement, and refused to attend the conference on the peace agreement held in Khartoum this week.
“We signed the JPA with the aim to implement all its protocols, not to review and amend it. The signatories of the Framework Agreement do not have the right to interfere. Secondly, FFC-CC wants to form the upcoming transitional government in order to control it and the Constitutional Court, the judiciary, and the governors of the states, without involving others. For these reasons, we did not accept their invitations to sign the Framework Agreement.”
The SLM-MM is a founding member of the FFC-Democratic Block, formed in November last year, which includes the National Accord Forces (NAF) coalition of rebel movements, the mainstream Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and the Beja Nazirs Council faction under the leadership of Sayed Tirik.
The new alliance has been accused of backing the military junta.
“This is nonsense,” Minawi commented. “It is the FFC-CC that is now working together with the junta. On April 12, 2019, we refused to involve the military, and they insisted on including them. We called for reforming the security and military institutions, and they have refused this so far. We must sit down to conduct a Sudanese-Sudanese dialogue, reach consensus with each other, in order to reform all military and civilian institutions, as also has been stipulated in the JPA. We hope to reach a solution together.”
The FFC-CC said in December last year that it refuses to “flood the political process” with parties “that are not interested in democracy”, such as the FFC-DB.
Omar Al Bashir and other officials indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague must definitely be extradited, Minawi said.
“This is a national responsibility. If it was the responsibility of the Darfur Regional Government, we would have handed them to the ICC already. Now, they are still in Kober Prison in Khartoum North, and we are pressing the Sudanese authorities and cooperating with the ICC to get them transferred to The Hague.”