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JEM starts negotiating with government to reach peace in Darfur

February 22 - 2010 DOHA

 (By Editor Radio Dabanga)

The government of Sudan and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) have signed a framework agreement in Doha, observed by President Omar al Bashir, the US-envoy Scott Gration and UN-representatives. While the attendants were celebrating, the parties had not signed due to discussions about pending issues. President Bashir however called the framework agreement a start for the peace negotiations. He stated that the deal only required some ‘finalization’. He expected a comprehensive peace agreement before elections will take place in April this year. The leader of the JEM, Khalil Ibrahim, and President Omar Al Bashir were long time political allies in the National Islamic Front, an offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood. The peace negotiations do not involve the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid al Nur and a multitude of smaller factions representing various tribes and clans. Also the current presidential advisor for Darfur, Minni Minnawi, is not particpating in the peaceround. He is a declared enemy of the JEM-leader.

Attacks hours before the deal

Despite the agreement, the JEM reported that the government army had attacked positions of the JEM in Kirgi Kargi. The JEM-army spokesman, Suleiman Sandal, told Radio Dabanga that the JEM had repulsed the attacks and the JEM had detained several army officers and their vehicles. The armed forces did not comment. The JEM says it will negotiate for post poning the elections in Darfur. Yesterday the Sudanese presidency reached an agreement to postpone the local elections in the South Kordofan state due to irregularities with the voters registration. But the government spokesman rejected the suggestion to postpone also elections in Darfur. Most of the millions of displaced Darfurians and the refugees are not registered for the elections and will not be able to vote.

The framework agreement between the government and JEM provides for a temporary cease fire and the release of the brother of the JEM leader amongst others who were detained after the attack of the JEM on Omdurman in 2008. President Bashir said yesterday he would cancel death sentences handed out to JEM prisoners. The framework should lead to detailed political negotiations by March 15 covering  issues concerning wealth sharing, compensationof losses inflicted and political representation. The negotiations on behalf of the government are led by Amin Hassan Omar, one of the confidentes of President Omar al Bashir.

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