Djibril Bassolé, the chief mediator of the Darfur conflict, met recently with Khalil Ibrahim, the Darfuri rebel chief exiled in Libya. They discussed the peace process, which Ibrahim is boycotting. According to the spokesman of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Ahmed Hussein Adam, Bassolé reported that he is working to organize a meeting for him inside Sudan and that the international community supports his efforts. Ibrahim told Bassolé that JEM is waiting for that to be realized.
This comes in the context of JEM’s demand to meet with his troops in Darfur before returning to negotiations in Doha. This is a demand that Bassole has already tried to facilitate without success, judging by statements Bassole made to Sudan Tribune website last month announcing his intention to return the JEM leader to the field. The Sudanese government, during Bassolé’s mid-September visit to Khartoum, made clear it was openly opposed.
The mediation team has repeatedly and publically appealed to JEM and SLM-AW to come to the negotiating table in Doha. JEM left negotiations in April 2010 and SLM-AW has rejected all talks since May 2006.
Djibril Bassolé is the joint mediator of the United Nations and African Union. He is backed by the Emirate of Qatar, which is the official host of the negotiations.
Photo: Khalil Ibrahim (center) attending the peace talks on Darfur in early 2010.