Yesterday, the Sudanese government delegation and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance agreed on most issues of the Darfur wealth-sharing file. The South Sudanese mediation team is “already preparing the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement”, to be reached before April 9.
Darfur which will be one province again, will be able to use its resources and funds freely, without interference from Khartoum.
Ibrahim Zariba, chief negotiator of the Sudan Liberation Forces, an alliance of Darfur rebel factions, described the wealth-sharing accord as “satisfactory, integrated, and meeting the requirements to eliminate marginalisation and injustice, and to tackle historical injustices and unbalanced regional development”.
He told Radio Dabanga from the South Sudanese capital of Juba where the peace negotiations are being held that the two parties decided on Darfur’s share in the national wealth.
In addition to the distribution of resources related to taxes and other returns, they decided on a specific percentage for the provincial government to spend on services and development of local communities.
The two parties also agreed to establish a fund to support peace and sustainable development in Darfur, with the aim “to attract support from the Sudanese government and the international community.”
Zariba said that consensus was also reached concerning the formation of seven commissions: The Commission for Development and Reconstruction, the Commission for Displaced People and Refugees, the Compensation Commission, the Land and Hawakeer Commission, the Nomads’ Commission, the Justice, Accountability, and Reconciliation Commission, and the Fund for the International Criminal Court.
Only the commission to be set up for Darfuri pastoralists is still being negotiated, the rebel leader noted.
SRF chairman El Hadi Idris reported in a press statement in Juba on Tuesday that a number of wealth-sharing issues are still outstanding.
“Theres are issues related to the size of financial obligations to be paid by the government to a number of special commissions, particularly the Commission for the Reconstruction of Darfur, in order to finance the Darfur Reconstruction Fund which includes the Darfur Development Fund and the Darfur Crime Court, and the Compensation Commission,” he clarified.
Another outstanding issue in the wealth-sharing file concerns the proportion the Darfur province receives from its resources such as oil, gold and other minerals.
“The SRF suggested that the province’s share be 60 per cent, along with a percentage for the residents of the area where the resources are extracted,” Idris said.
Mohamed El Taayshi, member of the Sovereign Council and spokesman for the government negotiating delegation, commented that “the wealth-sharing file addressed most of the problems related to the roots of the war in Darfur, which are related to the division and management of resources, mechanisms of managing development during the period of reconstruction of what has been destroyed by the war.
“For the first time it was agreed to establish one fund to support the development of peace in Darfur. All the funds that the government and donors provide to finance peace operations will be placed in one unit, whether related to transitional justice, the return of displaced people and refugees, compensation, and reconstruction”.
The South Sudanese negotiating team announced that the final peace agreement between the government and the armed movements has come close to completion.
Yesterday, negotiations on the Darfur security arrangements began in Juba. The talks will include issues related to the military and paramilitary, the dissolution of government militias and integration of militiamen into the army, and the collection of weapons.
Counsellor Tut Galuak, head of the South Sudanese mediation committee, told reporters in Juba that the two parties are supposed to reach an accord on the Darfur track within ten days.
Agreements on northern Sudan, central Sudan, eastern Sudan have already been reached. On March 14, the Sudanese government and the SPLM-N Agar initialled a Political Document on issues of governance, powers and authorities for the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile state) in southern Sudan. On Monday, the two parties reached an accord on the Darfur power-sharing file.
“We are already preparing the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement by the Sudanese government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front,” Galuak stated.
According to the adjusted peace negotiations schedule set by the South Sudanese mediation, a comprehensive peace agreement should be reached by April 9.
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