Head of the Darfur Peace Follow-up Office, Amin Hassan Omar, said that the proposal by the rebel JEM and SLM-MM to include Qatari mediators in a forum led by African Union chair Thabo Mbeki is “an attempt to bypass the peace roadmap, which the government has signed but the rebels refused to sign”.
The official released a statement to Sudan News Agency on Tuesday. Omar said that the rebels “walked away without signing” the recent peace roadmap that was drafted by the AU High Implementation Panel (AUHIP).
“Such a call is an attempt to come up with a new mandate outside the mandate of the Qatari and the African Union mediation which are based on reaching pace on the basis of the Doha agreement (2011), which is not acceptable as a matter of principle,” the official stated.
The Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minawi have reiterated their support of the Qataris to join the mediating AUHIP in their peace efforts. They deny however any intention to join the DDPD.
Speaking to Radio Dabanga one week ago, leader Jibril Ibrahim said that the purpose of an upcoming visit to the Qatar capital of Doha, at an invitation of the Qatari mediation, will be for “dialogue about outstanding procedural issues”.
No date has been set for the forum.
The AUHIP invited the Sudanese government, three holdout rebel movements and the National Umma Party (NUP) for a consultative meeting to Addis Ababa in March, in an attempt to break the deadlock on the peace negotiations on Sudan's areas of conflict, and ensure the opposition’s participation in the National Dialogue.
On 19 March, Chief Mediator Thabo Mbeki presented the warring parties the text of a roadmap regarding the accords to be agreed on for these two goals. Khartoum's delegation and Mbeki signed the document, which the opposition groups refused, accusing the AU mediator of taking the side of Khartoum.