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New mechanism opens door to peace talks resumption: Sudan rebels

November 2 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Jibril Ibrahim, the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM, left) and Minni Arko Minawi, leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM)
Jibril Ibrahim, the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM, left) and Minni Arko Minawi, leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM)

In a significant development paving the way for the resumption of Darfur peace talks, the Sudanese government has agreed to establish a New Independent Implementation Mechanism for a future peace deal.

At the end of a three-day meeting in Paris on Tuesday 30 October, the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF)-led by Minni Minawi reaffirmed its commitment to a comprehensive and an inclusive political settlement that achieves peace and addressing the root causes of the conflict in the country.

Minawi, also the head of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM), said in an interview with Radio Dabanga that the two movements and a Qatari mediator had reached an agreement to hold a new meeting on November 11. “The meeting is not for negotiation, but for the purpose of agreeing on pre-negotiation issues, as well as the possibility of addressing the issue of cessation of hostilities, the negotiation methodology, and how to start negotiations.”

The head of JEM, Jibril Ibrahim announced that they received an invitation from the joint mediator and head of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid), Jeremiah Mamabolo, to meet on November 15 and 16, to reflect on the resumption of negotiations.

According to Ibrahim they were officially informed by the Office of the Special Envoy of Sudan and South Sudan at the US State Department, with the consent of the Sudanese government, to form a mechanism to implement any future peace agreement.

The armed groups in Darfur accepted to negotiate with the Sudanese government on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD). In return, they asked to be allowed to add any issue to the agenda of talks and requested to establish a New Independent Implementation Mechanism for the peace agreement they would conclude.

Last April, the German foreign ministry and the Berghof Foundation held a meeting between the SLM-MM, JEM and the Sudanese government in Berlin to discuss a pre-negotiation agreement but the government delegation refused the second demand.

Now with this development, the parties would meet in the upcoming week to sign the pre-negotiation agreement. Once they ink this declaration of principles the parties will discuss and sign a cessation of hostilities agreement in Addis Ababa paving the way for peace talks in Doha.

However, no date has been yet determined for the talks.

Ibrahim suggested to Sudan Tribune that the negotiations for peace in Darfur also should include a number of armed groups that have never participated in the negotiations, such as the Sudan Liberation Forces Alliance (SLFA) led by Tahir Abu Bakr Hajar and the Sudan Liberation Movement-Transitional Council (SLM-TC) headed by Hadi Idriss Yahya.

(RD, ST)


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