23 July 2011

Sudan: Former Rebels Get Darfur Regional Authority And a National Ministry

Khartoum — The former rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) has got the chairmanship of Darfur regional authority and a national ministry according to an agreement reached with the Sudanese government.

Khartoum and LJM signed a peace agreement on 14 July in Doha after one year of talks between the two parties and two years and half since the start of Doha peace process.

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), which inaugurated the Doha forum by signing a goodwill agreement with Khartoum in February 2009, demands to hold talks on the seven chapters of a framework peace document but the government refuses.

Amin Hassan Omer Sudan's top negotiator and Ahmed Abdel Sahafi LJM Vice-President inked the "Protocol on the Political Participation of the Liberation and Justice Movement and Integration of its Forces" on 16 July.

According to a copy seen by Sudan Tribune, the chairmanship of Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), which will supervise the implementation of the Doha peace deal, is allocated to rebel group.

The former rebels also will get the position of a governor for one of two additional states to be established in Darfur besides the existing three states. LJM will also have an assistant and an adviser to DRA chairperson besides three ministerial positions in the regional authority.

Regarding the DRA Council, a sort of regional parliament established by the peace agreement composed of 67 members, LJM will to allocated 17 seats among them the vice-chairperson of the Council.

A military delegation of the former rebels is expected to arrive in Darfur on 24 July to brief the commanders of the group and their combatants about the agreement. However, no date has been yet determined for the return of the LJM political leadership.

The establishment of Darfur regional authority and the two new states are expected to be signed in Khartoum by the Sudanese president who will also reshuffle his cabinet.

According to the 16 July agreement, a minister and two state ministers will be appointed in the new national government.

Sudan Tribune has learned that a similar number of ministerial post in the national and regional levels is reserved to the Justice and Equality Movement with the chairmanship of the regional parliament, if it sign a peace agreement with the national government.

The former rebels have been also allocated six ministers in Darfur states and twenty six deputies in the state parliaments besides a number of commissioners.

Sudanese government agreed to appoint a vice-president of the republic from Darfur but said he would be a member of the ruling National Congress Party and refused to allocate this position to the western Sudan region in the new constitution.

Nafei Ali Nafei, the influential presidential assistant, said the Sudanese army will fight the other groups who refuse to join the peace agreement. While Ibrahim Gambari, head of Darfur peacekeeping force and ad interim mediator, called on the Sudanese parties to sign a truce and to engage peace talks.

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