The governor of the Darfur region and the head of the Sudan Liberation Movement, Minni Minawi, has called on the transitional government to expedite and immediately pay the ‘peace dues’ for Darfur in accordance with the Juba peace agreement signed in October.
In an interview with Radio Dabanga on the periphery of the Paris conference this week, Minawi highlighted his vision for Darfur’s restoration as a single region. He also said that the Sudanese state is obligated, according to the Juba agreement, to provide an amount of $700 million immediately to the Darfur government to kick-off implementation of the humanitarian and development aspects and the return of the displaced.
In the interview, Minawi stressed that the government is also obligated to immediately provide 40 per cent of Darfur’s resources for the benefit of Darfur, in accordance with the agreement that the state will carry out immediately. Minawi stressed that the first tasks that he will perform after returning to Khartoum and taking his oath is to request the Supreme Committee for the implementation of the peace agreement to form the Joint forces, the basics of which have been laid for Darfur.
He said that these forces should be deployed in different areas of the region and start their work immediately in Darfur “so that what happened in El Geneina does not happen in any other area of the region”.
Darfur as one region
Minawi described the restoration of Darfur as a single region as “a return to the right” and “in fulfilment of the demands for which the people of Darfur and Sudan had fought, which began with the 1981 demonstrations in Direij, passing through the second democracy in 1986, and ending with the regional authority in Abuja and Doha.”
‘Darfur has remained a single region since 1916, except during the deposed Al Bashir regime, which divided Darfur it into states as part of a divide and rule policy, and its programme of social disintegration’ – Darfur Governor Minni Minawi
He pointed out that Darfur has remained a single region since 1916, and was never divided into separate states, except during the deposed Al Bashir regime, “which divided Darfur it into states as part of a divide and rule policy, and its programme of social disintegration”.
Minawi stressed that the Darfur region is subject to the people of the region; “all the people of Darfur, plus the signatories to the peace agreement, civil society, and the civil administration”, and that “all of these are supposed to meet and determine exactly how the region will be managed during the transitional period”.
Regarding voices rejecting his appointment as governor of the Darfur region, Minni Minawi said: “We are in a transitional situation and a peace agreement has been drawn up. This is a transitional period, and when the elections come, people have the right to have their say,” he said. “What we ask now of the Sudanese people, especially the people of Darfur, is to cooperate with us in the framework of establishing the authority in Darfur, regardless of who is the governor”.
He said that “the tribal strife that occurs from time to time in the region must cease and forever”. Minawi is convinced that “there are hands working in igniting this strife, whether they are from the old regime or others, there are people who benefit from this war”.
In the interview, Minawi emphasised social peace, transitional justice, reconciliations, and tolerance. “For all these issues, we must sit down, discuss, and solve them radically, in order to stop any bloodshed in Darfur.”