17 February 2013

Sudan: Rebels Say Finalising Discussions On Justice in Darfur

Khartoum — A Darfur rebel group announced, from the venue of peace negotiations in Doha, they are finalising discussions with Sudanese government delegation on the file of justice and reconciliation.

A picture from a Youtube video released by JEM-MC showing a military demonstration of their troops organised Darma, North Darfur in 2011.

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) faction led by Mohamed Bashar signed a ceasefire agreement with the Sudanese government on 24 January and engaged talks on justice and reconciliation, compensation and return of internally displaced persons and refugees, power and wealth sharing, and final security arrangements.

"We are finalizing discussions on the chapter of justice and reconciliation and we agreed to refer two issues to the Steering Committee to make new proposals on it as we failed concur on it", said Nahar Osman a political adviser of the leader of JEM-Bashar in a telephone interview with Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

He further added they want a special mechanism for the Special Court for Darfur in order to make its function more transparent, also they want to review the procedures of amnesty and release of prisoners.

UN Human rights independent expert for Sudan, Mashood Baderin, warned in statements released at the end of his visit to the country on 10 February that Darfur conflict related crimes are currently being tried in the ordinary courts and that human rights officers have been denied access to these trials.

Nahar however stressed that Sudanese government showed seriousness in the negotiations and took into account may of the observations they expressed on the text of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

"If talks continue with this spirit, we will certainly make significant progress in the upcoming days", he added.

He further said that they now intend to tackle the chapter of compensation to amend some details. He gave as example that the DDPD provides that every family receives $250 to cover its transport fees before to return to their village .

"The use of (family) as standard for the distribution of this financial aid is not correct because sometimes families are composed of more than 25 members", he said.

Nahar however stressed that the most important thing remains the security of returnees. He added that the refugees and displaced persons cannot regain their villages and be exposed once again to the attacks carried out by militia groups in the region.

The rebel official said in the next round of talks they want to focus on issues dealing with the rights of Darfurians in justice and dignity, adding the last thing they want to discuss is the power sharing and security arrangements which are related to the movement.

The DDPD, which is a framework document prepared by the joint mediation as basis to achieve peace in Darfur, was endorsed by the Sudanese government and the former rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) on 14 July 2011.

JEM-Bashar, which accepted the DDPD, is discussing three point in the document besides two other points related to their participation in the national, regional institutions and the integration of their troops.

Doha will host next April a donors conference where the Darfur Regional Authority hopes to collect 6 billion dollar for recovery and development projects.

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