Nyala — Dr. Tijani Sese, president of the Darfur Regional Authority, told Radio Dabanga on Wednesday, 16 January, that the government did not provide the financial support of 2 billion US Dollars for the development and reconstruction of Darfur, as stipulated in the Doha Document.
At the opening meeting of the DRA council which was inaugurated on Tuesday in Nyala, in the presence of Sudan's First Vice President, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, Sese said that the government agreed to pay an amount of two billion US Dollars for the development and reconstruction of Darfur. He added that it was agreed the amount will be paid in six installments.
Moreover, Sese stated that the first installment of 200 million US Dollars was due in the first year after signing the Doha Document and that the agreement is now entering its second year without any payments being made. He called for consideration of "lessons learned in the past" and said "unbalanced development has led to war".
Sese added that "tangible development" is needed in Darfur to make a difference in the lives of people, especially in regards to infrastructure, such as the project of the Western Salvation Road and connecting the states of Darfur to the national electricity network, as well as the rehabilitation of the railway line from Abu Jabra to Nyala and providing the necessary services for the return of displaced and refugees, which has not yet happened in Darfur.
Furthermore, Sese said that the high frequency of tribal clashes in the recent months in Darfur, from Kutum, Mellit, Hashaba, Sigili to Jebel 'Amer, Al-Sref Beni Hussein, represent one of the threats to security and safety of the people of Darfur. The spread of arms, including heavy weapons, to citizens has become a threat and these weapons need to be collected, Sese stated.
Also, he called on the authorities to take decisive action to prevent Darfur from hitting "rock bottom", a point of no return. Sese stated that the current gold mining methods, under the polarization and preoccupation with the regular forces to deal with non-signatory movements, opens the door for citizens to acquire arms under the pretext of protecting the gold mining sites. In this regard, he called for a review of the mining operations, especially those suffering from complete absence of security forces.
"Token of commitment"
For his part, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, First Deputy President, announced in response to Sese's claim the issuance of a letter of guarantee from the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday to the Bank of Sudan for 880 million Sudanese pounds for the development and reconstruction of Darfur. Ali Osman said, at the opening meeting of the DRA Council in Nyala, that the amount was approved in the state budget of this year.
The first vice president said that the announcement was a gift on the occasion of the inauguration of the DRA Council and a token of the government's commitment to fulfill its obligations.
Ali Osman renewed the government's full commitment to the implementation of the Doha Document and appealed to the donors to accelerate setting a date for the donor conference in Doha.
Additionally, the First Vice President said that tribal conflicts and clashes lie between components of society in Darfur do not serve the peace process and called on the people of Darfur not to resort to violence for settling disputes.
On the recent clashes in Jebel 'Amer he commented that the dispute has been contained and expressed his hope for a new start, promoting reconciliation, understanding and adherence to the law as well as the extension of prestige of the country, which he considers will help in achieving revival and progress for the people in Darfur.