23 October 2012

Sudan: Darfur Peace Talks to Start On 22 November

Photo: Derk Segaar/IRIN
Sudanese rebels (file photo).

Khartoum — Negotiating delegations from the Sudanese government and a splinter faction of Justice Equality Movement (JEM) will start talks on 22 November, officials from the two sides said.

The two sides held secret consultations in Doha from 17 to 22 October after what it was announced they agreed to negotiate on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

However, the rebel faction pointed out that they have to hold a general conference in November before the talks as they decided during a meeting held on 8-9 September to elect a leadership before the talks.

Speaking to reporters in a press conference held in Doha on Tuesday the deputy chairman of the rebel group, Arko Dahiah, said the talks will begin on 22 November and stressed that it will be within the framework of DDPD.

Arko further went to say that they will discuss all the text of the DDPD. Ali Wafi, the spokesperson of the interim military council told Sudan Tribune on Monday they intend to open all the agreement for discussions stressing there are many failures and deficiencies in the text.

The deputy chairman further said they are determined to hold a general conference before the talks, pointing out that as democrats they removed "Al-Turabi's Group" from JEM leadership as a result of his dictatorial practices.

Leading military commanders had announced last September their dissidence and said they decided to sack the movement's leader Gibril Ibrahim, and accused him of managing the group without consulting the leadership members.

Arko also alluded the accusations that JEM is closely linked to the Islamist opposition leader Hassan Al-Turabi.

In separate statements reported by the official news agency, Amin Hassan Omer, former government chief negotiator and head of the DDPD follow-up office, said the signing of the cessation of hostilities and framework agreement will improve the security situation in the troubled North Darfur state where the group has its bases.

He further stressed that the DDPD won new friends and partners who will be involved in its implementation on the political, executive and security levels.

The state minister at the presidency said the talks would focus mainly on the security arrangements and the political participation of the group in the federal, regional and local administration.

He further expressed hope to sign an agreement before the donors conference which is expected to take place in Doha in December of this year.

UN Security Council will hold a consultations meeting on Wednesday about the situation on Darfur following a briefing by Edmond Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations on UNAMID and recent attacks against its members.

The meeting is also expected to discuss the Doha peace process and the next month talks between the government and JEM splinter group.

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