Ahmed Abdel Shafi, leader of a faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA-AS), will join the peace talks at Doha. Abdel Shafi announced through Radio Dabanga that he has joined the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), an umbrella rebel group led by Tijani Sese. The government of Qatar is hosting the peace negotiations between the Sudanese authorities and the rebels.
Abdel Shafi said in a phone interview from Doha that it is a time for unity. He said the rebel leaders are still working to organize the movement – it is not yet certain what his new position will be within the umbrella group. He said that he had been under pressure from supporters in Darfur to join the Doha peace talks. SLM-Unity led by Abdullah Yahya has also just announced it is joining LJM. Now the only major rebel leader still refusing to participate in the talks is Abdel Wahid Al Nur, the original chairman of the Sudan Liberation Movement.