Rebels welcomed: Peace a ‘central theme for progress’ in Sudan
Peace is an essential part of catalysing positive economic, social, and political change in Sudan, according to statements made by spokespeople for Sudan’s peace agreement yesterday.
Head of the delegation of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance* and Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Front faction under the leadership of Malik Agar (SPLM-N Agar) Yasir Arman, called on all Sudanese political forces to be aware of their “great responsibility” to create balance in the transitional period.
In a press conference following the arrival of the 36-strong delegation in Khartoum yesterday, Arman stated that the faction is not excluding the military from the transitional period, but they also do not support the military’s control of it.
“We are not excluding the military from the transitional period, but we also do not support the military’s control of it” - Yasir Arman
He stressed that they want a real and responsible partnership to overcome all challenges, explaining that: “We realise that there are diseases in the transitional period, but these are diseases of teething rather than old age, and we are able to treat teething diseases.” He said that there is fragility in the political situation, along with fragility in the current Sudanese state apparatus, which increases their responsibility in reforming the situation.
Ibrahim Zariba, spokesman for the delegation and the chief negotiator of the Sudan Liberation Forces Group, said at the press conference that there are three challenges facing the peace agreement, economic, political, and social, economic being the largest. He said that peace itself is the way out of this crisis. According to Zariba, “it will return of millions of acres of land to those who can produce food, and will return millions of people in displacement and refugee camps to the land for food production.”
40 per cent of Darfur’s natural resources, such as oil and minerals, has been allocated to Darfur in the coming 10 years under the peace agreement.
“Peace will return of millions of acres of land to those who can produce food, and will return millions of people in displacement and refugee camps to the land for food production.” - Ibrahim Zariba
He added that peace will make trade exchange possible with neighbouring countries such as Libya, Chad, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic.
Social and political problems, including the outbreak of tribal conflicts in Darfur, in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, and in eastern Sudan, can be stopped by joint action according to the peace agreement.
The deputy head of the delegation and head of the Sudan Liberation Movement-Transitional Council, Nimir Abdelrahman, said that “the transitional government faces major challenges in moving the country forward,” noting that peace is a central and basic theme of progress and prosperity.
The agreement is for all diplomatic missions in Sudan, according to Abdelrahman, noting that an agreement will contribute to improving the economic situation and that the SRF is an essential part of the transitional government.
Implementation and inclusion
Ibrahim El Sheikh, leading member of the Sudanese Congress Party, and leader of the Forces for Freedom and Change, the driving force behind the uprising, welcomed the rebel delegation, which arrived yesterday afternoon, the first group of rebels who arrived in Khartoum after the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement in the South Sudan capital of Juba on August 31.
El Sheikh said that the biggest challenge facing the peace process is the implementation of the clauses of peace agreements, noting that previous agreements have been signed but then revoked. He warned that financial resources must be made available by the government as required, and all parties must make strict and decisive commitment to the agreement made in Juba.
Maryam El Sadig, daughter of the President of the National Umma Party, El Sadig El Mahdi, and Vice President of the party, called for “including everyone in the peace agreement, in order to make all Sudanese people it’s guardian.”
At the same time, she stressed that sustaining peace requires realism and honesty in its implementation.
During the press conference, El Sadig announced that there had been contact with the SRF in Juba about holding a general conference to start the 39-month transitional period according to the new date agreed, which is the date of the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement. The conference will discuss how to reform the government and all institutions so that it can achieve a transition to civilian governance.
* The SRF alliance consists of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North faction headed by Malik Agar (SPLM-N Agar) active in Blue Nile state, and the Darfur rebel groups Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Sudan Liberation Movement faction under the leadership of Minni Minawi (SLM-MM), SLM-Transitional Council, the Sudan Liberation Forces Group, and the Sudanese Alliance (which includes 15 smaller groups).
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