The leadership of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement faction headed by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) signed an initial pre-negotiation agreement draft on Friday after an amendment was made to remove the words ‘Darfur’ and ‘Sudan’ from the Doha Document for Peace.
According to JEM spokesman Mutasim Saleh, the initial signing took place on Friday in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa in the presence of Mousa El Faki, the Secretary-General of the African Union. This signalled the end of a two-day series of meetings which discussed 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.
The spokesman for the JEM said in a statement that a pre-negotiation agreement will follow if the government approves the amendment of the agreement. It is understood by Radio Dabanga that this amendment was made because the two parties do not wish to talk about the problems of Darfur or Sudan, but to talk about issues of democracy, economy and so forth which emanate from Khartoum.
If the government approves this along with a cessation of hostilities for humanitarian purposes which sets the negotiating agenda, the parties will enter into negotiations to discuss the roots of the problem and address the causes of war and its effects.
The head of the SLM-MM, Minni Minawi, thanked all those who exerted efforts to overcome the hurdle of the pre-negotiation agreement, especially Unamid, the African Union, and governments of the USA, Qatar, Germany, and the Troika (UK, USA, Norway).
African Union mediator, former South African President Thabo Mbeki, is expected to set up a meeting for signing a declaration of principles called a pre-negotiation agreement after consulting the parties to the conflict "the government and armed movements" and coordination with Qatar and Germany.
Doha Document for Peace
The Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) was finalised at the All Darfur Stakeholders Conference in May 2011, in Doha, Qatar. On July 14, the Government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement signed a protocol agreement committing themselves to the Document, which is now the framework for the comprehensive peace process in Darfur.
The DDPD is the culmination of two and half years of negotiations, dialogue and consultations with the major parties to the Darfur conflict, all relevant stakeholders and international partners. The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid) lent technical expertise to the process and continues to support the dissemination of the Document as well as to urge non-signatory movements (SLM, JEM) to sign up to the DDPD.