29 March 2013

Sudanese Govt, Darfur Rebels Sign Peace Agreement in Doha

Photo: UN Photo/Marco Castro
Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, President of the Republic of the Sudan, addresses the general debate of the sixty-first session of the General Assembly, at UN Headquarters in New York.

Khartoum — The Sudanese government signed a new peace agreement with a Darfur rebel group concluding a process they started earlier this year in the Qatari capital, days before the Donors conference.

The Justice and Equality Movement - Mohamed Bashar (JEM-Bashar) is the second group to sign an agreement with the government under the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), a framework text prepared by the joint mediation.

"The Protocol on the Participation of the Justice and Equality Movement-Sudan at the Different Levels of Government and on the Integration of its Forces" was signed today, March 29th, 2013, announced the mediation in a statement released from Doha.

The signed text determines the positions JEM Bashar obtained in the national government, Darfur Regional Authority and Darfur five states in the executive and legislative organs, said Nahar Osman, JEM-Bashar political adviser.

However he declined to provide further details on the agreement saying they will be made public soon.

Nahar said the two parties also agreed on the details of the integration of the rebel fighters in the Sudan Armed Forces, adding that some of them will be demobilised.

The mediation said preparing the final signing ceremony as the parties have already initialled an additional agreement on three of the DDPD chapters including compensation and the Return of IDPs and refugees, Justice and reconciliation, and wealth sharing on 24 March.

Nahar mentioned that the signing ceremony will take place during the donor conference which will be held in Doha on 7 and 8 April.

"The Mediation considers this achievement as an important step that would contribute to forging peace and stability in Darfur in particular, and in Sudan in general", said the mediation.

The Justice and Equality Movement inaugurated the Doha process on 17 February 2009 when it had signed a goodwill agreement with the Sudanese government. However, the two parties failed to reach a final peace deal as JEM demanded to open the DDPD for new discussions just before the final signing with Liberation and Justice Movement on 14 July 2011.

Nahar said three new bodies will be established as result of the talks, one on the pastoralists and nomads affairs, the second is a social care fund and, the third is a "small business credit bank.

He also pointed out that the presence of their leader Mohamed Bashar in Doha since ten days ago helped to reach a quick agreement.

Further, he added they plan to send an advance team to Darfur to meet the displaced persons and prepare the return of their leadership, besides another delegation that will travel to Chad to meet the Sudanese refugees there.

JEM-Bashar broke away from the Justice and Equality Movement in September 2012 and elected Mohamed Bashar Ahmed in a general conference held in November where the splinter rebels decided to hold peace talks with Khartoum and defined their position from the DDPD.

The three historical Darfur rebel groups (JEM, SLM-AW and SLM-MM) refuse to negotiate a peaceful agreement and formed the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) with the SPLM-N. Their charter calls to topple the regime of the National Congress Party.

The SPLM-N, which fights the Sudanese army in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, said ready for talks with Khartoum under the UN resolution 2046 and called to hold a comprehensive process including Darfur rebel groups and the opposition forces to settle the regional conflicts but also to bring democratic change .

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