29 November 2011

Sudan: UNAMID Chief Calls to Press Rebels to Achieve Peace in Darfur

Khartoum — UNAMID chief, Ibrahim Gambari once again called on regional and international partners of Darfur peace process to put more pressures on the rebel groups to in order to join negotiating table and dissuade them from escalating violence in the western Sudan.

Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) signed a framework document to achieve peace in Darfur last July. One of the three historical groups, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) who did not sign the deal was part in the forum. But the two others, Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW) and that of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM), were not associated to the process.

Since his appointment as Joint Chief Mediator ad interim, Gambari believes that rebel groups should stop violence and give peace a chance, as he also repeats that the outcome of the Doha process lays down a good ground for peace in Darfur. He furthermore says concerned by the recent alliance between Darfur rebels and those in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

In a briefing to the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) on Monday at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Gambari warned that the renewal of violence in Darfur would damage the progress made since the signing of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

"It is doubly important that the African Union and the international community stress in words and actions their opposition to the military means chosen to advance political objectives," he emphasized after mentioning the recent statements by the rebel groups on their determination to topple the regime.

Since the signing of the Doha document, the region witnesses a relative calm, at least no notable clashes between the government and the rebel groups. While the government said preparing to a national government before to launch the regional authority and hold a dialogue process in the region.

During a meeting with international envoys for Sudan in El-Geniena last October, Gambari went to suggest international sanctions against the non-signatory rebels. Nonetheless, the diplomats only condemned the "continued belligerent postures" taken by the three rebel groups, and urged them to consider a negotiated solution.

The non-signatory rebel groups are facing international pressures to negotiate with the government but for the time being there is no peace process proposed for the Sudanese parties. Khartoum also says the only option for the rebels is to join the DDPD.

The head of the UN peacekeeping department, Hervé Ladsous, told the UN Security Council last month they are preparing a new road map for peace in Darfur. He also said the findings of a workshop on Darfur held ten two week ago in Washington would contribute to define it.

During a meeting held Tuesday with the head of Darfur regional authority Tijani el-Sissii in Khartoum US Charge d'affaires Ambassador Mary Yates reiterated the US rejection of any tendency to overthrow the regime through violence, reported the LJM website.

Sissi also met with the French Ambassador Patrick Nicoloso who reaffirmed Paris support to the Doha peace document. He also pledged that France would seek to convince the rebel groups to join the negotiating table.

Members of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union said more attention should be paid to recovery and development projects to provide the peace dividends to Darfur people. They also stressed on the need to reengage negotiations between the government and the rebel groups.

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