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Rebels, government unify Darfur peace negotiation papers

August 20 - 2020 JUBA
Rebel fighters of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minawi (Olivier Chassot/UNAMID)
Rebel fighters of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minawi (Olivier Chassot/UNAMID)

Negotiations between the Sudanese government and armed movements concerning security arrangements in Darfur began yesterday in Juba, capital of South Sudan.

Noureldayem Taha, assistant head of the Sudan Liberation Movement faction under the leadership of Minni Minawi (SLM-MM), reported that the Darfur rebel groups began by unifying their negotiating positions on the security arrangements file. The government responded by doing the same, as agreed last Friday.

Minister of Defence Maj Gen Yasin Ibrahim, head of the government delegation to the negotiations on security arrangements, told reporters that this was a complicated process: “With patience and determination we managed to amend the text in line with the standards and principles that govern the military institutions and other security services”.

Mutasim Saleh, spokesperson for the Justice and Equality Movement and the negotiating officer, said that the rest of the talks on the security arrangements will take two or three sessions. He told reporters that “if things continue like today, we will reach the conclusion of the Darfur security arrangements file on Friday.”

“If things continue like today, we will reach the conclusion of the Darfur security arrangements file on Friday.”

The new civilian governor of Central Darfur, Adib Yousef, visited villages and areas in Mukjar locality that witnessed major violence during Omar Al Bashir’s regime yesterday.

Yousef also visited mass graves, including the mass grave of the victims of the Mukjar massacre, where he offered his condolences to residents. He promised retribution for the victims. He said that this can only come by implementing “Freedom, Peace, and Justice”, slogans of the revolution.

On March 5, 2004, government and janjaweed forces executed at least 145 Fur tribesmen in Mukjar and Wadi Saleh, at the time part of West Darfur.

Background

A presidential delegation led by Deputy Chairman of the Sovereign Council, Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, arrived in Juba on Monday, to attend the completion of the security arrangements file, and prepare for the initial signing of the peace agreement.

Peace negotiations between the Sudanese government and most of the rebel movements in the country started on October 14 last year. Originally scheduled to end within two months, the talks were suspended several times. Progress was made in the beginning of 2020.

The sudden death of Sudan’s then Minister of Defence, Lt Gen Jamaleldin Omar, who died of a heart attack in Juba on March 25, and the coronavirus pandemic led to further delays and suspensions. In April, the Sudanese government and the rebel groups agreed on the date of May 9 for the conclusion of the peace talks. In mid-May, the deadline was extended again.

On August 13, the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance leadership in Juba held meetings with international parties, including Chad, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) about the peace agreement.

The SRF is an alliance of rebel movements which was formed in November 2011 by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) of the Two Areas, and the three main Darfuri rebel groups: The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW), and the breakaway SLM faction headed by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM).


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