Darfur rebels meet Unamid head in Addis Ababa
The UN Special Representative for Darfur, Jeremiah Mamabolo, began a two-day series of meetings with the leaders of the Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) under the leadership of Dr Jibril Ibrahim in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa today.
The meeting, which ends on Friday, will discuss the future of the peace process in Darfur and the obstacles that stand before it, represented in the pre-negotiation agreement and the cessation of hostilities, along with the track of negotiations according to the African Union mediation (AUHIP) road map.
Before heading to Addis Ababa today, JEM head Jibril Ibrahim told Radio Dabanga that talks with Mamabolo will focus on the peace process, the situation of displaced persons and refugees, and the withdrawal of the Unamid peacekeeping mission from the region and its impact on civilians and displaced people in particular.
He explained that the meeting came at the invitation of Mamabolo to the two movements linked to negotiations. Ibrahim expected the two movements to meet during their brief visit to Addis Ababa the head of the African Peace and Security Council, as well as the high-level African mechanism (AUHIP).
In addition, he expected that the mechanism would later invite the Sudan Call coalition of opposition forces and armed movements.
The meetings will end on Friday after which the rebel leaders will return to Paris.
In a joint statement following the initial meetings today, the SLM-MM and JEM confirm that their delegation met at the African Union headquarters with Ismail Sharqi, Commissioner of the African Peace and Security Council, and Kingsley Mamabolo, the head of Unamid. The delegation discussed ways to revive the peace negotiations and break the stalemate that prevents progress.
The meeting reviewed the humanitarian and security situation, stressing that the protracted conflict in the region contributed to the suffering of the people and that there is an urgent need to move forward the negotiations and accelerate the search for sustainable peace.
The meeting discussed the changes that took place in the region and at the international level; he referred to the status of the Unamid forces and the current arrangements for their withdrawal and their impact on the lives of citizens; in this regard, the two movements stressed the need to accelerate the entry into serious political negotiations and address the core issues and reach To an agreement that paves the way for lasting peace and stability.
The two rebel delegations stressed their readiness to deal positively with all parties concerned with the peace order to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in Sudan.
Last month, the leaders of the Darfur armed movements including JEM, SLM-MM, the opposition Sudanese Congress Party, and the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement faction (SLM-AW) Abdelwahid El Nur himself, all strongly criticised Mamabolo, accusing him of exceeding his mandate.
They were referring to remarks made by Mamabolo in his report to the UN Security Council suggesting that the Council ‘consider stern action’ against holdout SLM-AW faction leader El Nur, who has refused to join the peace negotiations.
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