10 February 2011

Sudan: Delegation Returns to Doha to Finalize Darfur Peace Agreement

Khartoum — Government's negotiating delegation will return to Doha to resume consultations to reach a peace in Darfur with the rebel groups one month after its withdrawal from the venue of the negotiations.

The short announcement was made in Khartoum by presidential adviser Ghazi Sal Al-Deen who returned from a two-day visit to the region to promote an internal process for peace in the restive region.

Qatar's state minister for foreign affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud met today with Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir to brief him on the efforts led by mediation to reach an agreement to the eight year conflict.

Ghazi told reporters that a small team led by the head of the negotiating delegation Amin Hassan Omer will return to Doha to complete consultations on the final peace document and to be acquainted with ideas and proposals of the mediation on the agreement.

He emphasized that this decision has been taken upon the request of the mediation.

The presidential adviser further called to comply with the deadline set by mediators and warned that they are not ready to open negotiations on disputed files as it was the case before.

The mediation is preparing a framework agreement that all the stakeholders from the government and rebels groups will be asked to sign.

Talks between the government and the Liberation and Justice Movement are deadlocked as Khartoum refused a compromise establishing a regional authority headed by a vice-president from Darfur.

With regard to the talks with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the two parties had to finalize a cessation of hostilities agreement but talks were stopped after the withdrawal of government's delegation.

The peace document should serve as a ground for the talks between the Sudanese government and JEM rebels.

Minister Al-Mahmoud told the media he briefed President Bashir about the plan of the mediation to finalize the peace document by the end of February.

He further said he stressed to President Bashir the need for government's delegation in Doha to complete the consultations on Darfur peace document and expressed the hope that this will allow to conclude the hard work engaged by the mediation since long time.

Besides Sudanese officials, the Qatari minister met with the US envoy for Darfur Dane Smith who is currently in Khartoum. Scott Gration, US president special envoy is officially appointed ambassador to Kenya.

Dane who is a carrier diplomat is expected to seek his own approach for a peaceful end to the conflict of Darfur where his administration said resolved to focus efforts. Gration supported government's domestication process to bring peace in the troubled region.

Sudanese government said resolved to end the conflict before the official secession of Southern Sudan next July. It also said would not accept any foreign intervention in its domestic affairs.

But the US administration which pledged to remove Sudan from the list of "state sponsors of terrorism after the CPA implementation said would maintain the economic sanctions till the resolution of Darfur conflict.

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