'We are committed to a peace process': Darfur rebel leader
The joint statement of Darfur's three main rebel movements and the Special Representative of Unamid on Saturday, was signed in light of two resolutions by the African Security and Peace Council and the UN Security Council, now says one of the attending rebel leaders. “The resolutions seek to start an inclusive political provess under the auspices of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel.”
Minni Arko Minawi, the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM), told Radio Dabanga on Monday that the SLM-MM and the two other rebel movements, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the SLM led by Abdel Wahid El Nur (SLM-AW) still reject the Sudanese government's Doha peace agreement that dates from 2011. “However, we are committed to any peace process if the National Congress Party [NCP, ruling party] is committed to it.”
Following their meeting with Abiodun Bashua, Acting Joint Special Representative of the AU-UN Mission in Darfur (Unamid) on Friday and Saturday in Paris, France, rebel leaders Minawi, Dr Jibril Ibrahim (JEM), and Abdel Wahid released a document stating that they will work together for a viable and lasting peace agreement in Darfur, the war-torn western region of Sudan.
Minawi explained that they made their statement in light of resolution 456 of the African Security and Peace Council (AUPSC, 12 September 2014), that urges the start of a peace process as well as a cessation of hostilities in the tracks of the Darfur region, and the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. Resolution 2228 of the UN Security Council, that extended the term of the Unamid and demanded to revitalise the peace process in Darfur on 29 June 2015, was the second document that played a role in their meeting.
A delegation from the Peace and Security Council will visit the camps for displaced people in Darfur between 19 and 22 August, the SLM-MM leader said. Minawi appealed to the displaced and refugee population to welcome this delegation and show the injustice that has been inclicted on them.
“The organised reception of this mission is essential because it will reveal the level of humanitarian conditions and abuses against the displaced persons... The delegation will conclude that the government’s record is so bad in this area; which might cause the African Union to move and to take reasonable measures against the background of these results.”
Minawi, Jibril Ibrahim and Abdel Wahid agreed last weekend with Unamid representative Bashua to provide a common position paper and proposals on “substantive issues for discussion” and to suggest a format for the “resumed political process”. Unamid has mediated with the non-signatory Darfuri rebel movements after they refused to join the Doha peace agreement of 2011. Last year however, the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) sought to include the Darfur issue in a comprehensive peace process. On 29 March, the panel attempted to break the deadlock over the negotiations between Khartoum and the rebels in Addis Ababa, and discuss merging the peace talks on Darfur and the other Sudanese conflict areas. The ruling NCP declined to attend.
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