26 February 2013

Sudan: Qatar Pledges Additional Financial Support for Peace in Darfur, Sources

Khartoum — The State of Qatar has pledged to provide Khartoum the needed money to implement its commitments provided in the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), as it pushes a rebel group to conclude negotiations before a donors conference.

The gulf state which sponsors a peace process since 2009 to end Darfur conflict will also host next April a donors conference aiming to collect funds to achieve recovery and development projects, after the signing of the DDPD in July 2011.

The Sudanese government is also holding talks in Doha with a group that broke away from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by Mohamed Bashar.

Qatar already pledged to pay two billion for Darfur reconstruction and development programmes.

"The State of Qatar is pushing the two sides to conclude the talks before the donors conference", said a source close to the talks from Doha but preferred to speak to Sudan Tribune under the cover of anonymity.

"Qatar pledged to give the money needed to implement additional measures agreed in the negotiations with the rebels, the source said. He added that Doha feels it is time to close the process after all these years with the donors meeting".

Asked about the other groups that may join the DDPD, he added that future talks can be held inside the Sudan.

A steering committee gathering the mediation, the heads of the Sudanese government and JEM-Bashar negotiating team should meet on Thursday to discuss the pending issues the two delegations failed to agree on it.

The rebels demand to increase the amount of money allocated to the IDPs and refugees, the creation of a commission for nomads and pastoralists affairs, a fund to support micro finance projects, and another fund to support Darfur students.

According to the source, the Sudanese negotiating team said agreeing with the demands but explained that the current financial situations does not allow the government to provide the financial means to implement it.

He however said that Khartoum cannot for the time being lift the state of emergency in Darfur as the rebels demand, pointing out that the lift of the martial law will prevent the government from implementing the DDPD. He pointed out that the appointment of rebels in governmental posts cannot be decided by presidential decree in ordinary situation.

He further added that Khartoum argues that attacks by the holdout rebel groups prevent the government from taking such measure.

Nahar Osman, political adviser of JEM - Bashar's leader and member of the negotiating team, told Sudan Tribune they demanded an increase in revenue granted to oil-producing areas and to establish a special mechanism to monitor Special Court for Darfur.

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