3 December 2012

Sudanese Government, Splinter Group to Hold Talks for Peace in Darfur Next Week

Khartoum — Sudanese government and a splinter rebel faction of Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) will hold talks aiming to reach a peace agreement in the Qatari capital Doha next week, a Sudanese minister said.

Amin Hassan Omer, Sudan's chief negotiator for the talks of with Darfur rebel groups and head of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) implementation follow-up office said Monday the negotiations with JEM-Military Council (JEM-MC) faction will resume next week.

Sudanese government and the rebel faction inked a goodwill and a cessation of hostilities deal in Doha last October, followed by a general conference held in November to elect their leadership and prepare for the peace negotiations.

The two parties said the discussions will be based on the DDPD which Khartoum and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) endorsed in July 2011. However the rebels said they intend to demand more guaranties to ensure its full implementation.

The Sudanese state minister disclosed that the rebel negotiating team is expected to arrive this week to the Qatari capital, stressing that they will sign political and military protocols with JEM-MC as provided in the Doha framework document.

JEM-MC announced its dissidence last September after accusing its leader Gibril Ibrahim of dictatorial practices excluding the military command from the decisional process in the movement after the death of his brother and JEM founder Khalil Ibrahim.

JEM however accused the Chadian and Sudanese authorities of fomenting a plot aiming to break the largest rebel group in Darfur.

JEM initiated the Doha forum in 2009 but refused to sign the peace document after two years of talks.

LJM leader and head of Darfur regional authority renewed recently his call to the Sudanese government to pay the first installment of fund ($200 million) that Khartoum committed itself to pay to prepare the return of displaced people and refugees.

The government, which faces a severe economic crisis, hopes that donors can fund development projects during a conference Qatar will host in January as part of its efforts to bring peace in Darfur.

A peace deal is supposed to be signed between Khartoum and JEM-MC before the donors conference.

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