27 November 2010

Sudan: Mediators Discuss Peace Process in Khartoum Before Travel to Darfur

Khartoum — The Joint Chief Mediator Djibril Bassole and the Qatari state minister for foreign affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud held today a series of meetings in Khartoum before to commence a three day tour in Darfur.

Sudanese government and the rebel Liberation and Justice Movement concluded direct talks and submitted the outstanding issues to the mediation. The latter has to propose a peace agreement that should be signed by the two parties next month.

However, the mediation intends to carry out a large consultation with the different parties including the civil society in Darfur, and the different Sudanese political forces. It also seeks to bring to the negotiating table the two main rebel groups who are not part of the talks.

Today, minister Al-Mahmoud and chief mediator Bassole held a long meeting with President Omer Ahmed Al-Bashir attended by the head of the government delegation to the peace talks Amin Hassan Omer.

The mediators discussed with Bashir their ideas about the expected peace deal as they seek to get some concessions from the government on the power sharing issue. Khartoum refuses to establish one region in Darfur. It also says would not encourage regions to claim positions at the presidency while the rebels ask a vice-president position for Darfur.

The mediation spoke about its vision and ideas about how to approach the final stage of the negotiation process and the efforts exerted to bring to the negotiating table the rebel movements that reject the peace process, Amin told reporters after the meeting.

For his part, Al-Mahmoud stated "We asked (Al-Bashir) to help us to reach the desired just peace for the people of Darfur". He further added they explained their point of view on the peace process describing the meeting as "positive and productive".

He also stressed they are "assured of the government's seriousness to reach peace in Darfur" without elaborating on the details of their discussions with the Sudanese president.

The visiting delegation also met with the leaders of political forces including the former prime minister, Sadiq Al-Mahdi, how suggested to hold a national conference on Darfur. They also met with Hassan Al-Turabi the leader of the opposition Popular Congress Party and Mubarak Al-Mahdi leader of Umma Reform and Renewal party.

They met with the head of the hybrid peacekeeping mission UNAMID Ibrahim Gambari who discussed the peace process with the two mediators.

Al-Mahmoud and Bassole will travel to El-Fashir on Sunday starting a tour in the three states to meet with local authorities and civil society representatives before to head to Ndjamena.

In El-Fasher, The joint mediation will discuss the peace process with the state government, the state legislature, representatives of the civil society and displaced people and the leadership of the UNAMID.

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