27 February 2011

Sudan: Darfur Rebels Say Will Only Sign Applicable Peace Agreement

Doha — The rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) they would not sign any agreement that does not include guarantees ensuring its implementation on the ground.

The government and LJM rebels handed their position this weekend to the mediation over a new set of proposals on six pending issues dealing with Power Sharing; Wealth Sharing; Compensation and Return of IDPs and Refugees; Justice and Reconciliation; Permanent Ceasefire and Security Arrangements; and Human Rights.

In December 2010, the government rejected a first package of compromise proposals because it gave the rebels a post of vice-president of the republic who should also head the regional authority.

Under the new proposals the mediators separated the two positions and asked to amend the constitution before to appoint a vice-president from Darfur. The regional authority also becomes the principal tool to monitor the implementation of the agreement in Darfur but the three states continue to function independently.

"We informed the mediation that we cannot sign a peace agreement that we do not have the needed tool to ensure its implementation on the ground, said LJM top negotiator, Tadjadine Bechir Niam.

The rebel group demanded initially to establish an independent regional authority to administrate the region during the interim period and to represent it at the level of the central government.

The rebel official further slammed statements by the head of government delegation who said rebels seek positions but not to end the suffering of Darfur people.

Niam went to say that the Sudanese government refuses to make any concessions on the two issues of the vice-presidency and Darfur status, stressing "they if they want peace they have to concede on such matters".

Omer Adam Rahama, the spokesperson of the government negotiating team refused to disclose the content of their reply to the mediation but said the text is comprehensive and can be a draft of a final peace agreement.

The mediation is expected to put forward very soon new proposals based on the responses given by the two parties.

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