28 October 2013

Sudan: Armed Movements Reject Sudanese President's Speech

Khartoum — Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir has renewed his invitation to the non-signatory rebel movements to join the peace process in Darfur, according to the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), finalised at the All Darfur Stakeholders Conference in May 2011.

In a speech to the National Parliament on Monday, Al Bashir welcomed the statement by the AU's Peace and Security Council of Africa, calling the non-signatory rebel movements to unconditionally join the DDPD, and threatened to impose punitive measures on those who refuse.

The Sudanese President expressed his government's willingness to pardon the non-signatory rebel movements and discuss the arrangements for joining the DDPD peace process with them.

Al Bashir noted that "in Darfur, the steps to implement the peace agreement are accelerating, since the implementation of the Doha Development Strategy matrix has begun". He added that "the Darfur Regional Authority is conducting intensive efforts to organise social peace conferences, thereby creating a favourable climate for the promotion of peace and stability".

With regard to South Kordofan and the Blue Nile states, Al Bashir renewed his call to the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) to resume dialogue. "Although the broad stability reached in both states and major development and services projects are being implemented, we still are committed to comprehensive peace. That is why we renew our call for the resumption of a national dialogue with the armed forces to complete the outstanding issues as required by the peace protocols for the two states."

The armed movements in Darfur falling under the banner of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the Sudan Liberation Movement, led by Abdelwahid Elnur (SLM-AW), and the Sudan Liberation Movement, led by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) strongly rejected what they termed "Al Bashir's show".

The armed movements describe the President's proposals as "contradicting" and "a failing new attempt by the government to cause a split in the SRF by presenting partial solutions and to isolate Darfur, by confining it to the 'dead Doha peace', and by inviting the SPLM-N to solely negotiate on the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states."

The leaders of the three armed movements in Darfur affirmed that they adhere to a comprehensive solution and regime change in Khartoum.

Minawi, who is also Co-Vice President of the SRF, described in an interview with Radio Dabanga Al Bashir's speech a "political consumption of no value." He confirmed that peace cannot be implemented partially. The SRF will present a road map for a comprehensive and lasting peace in Sudan.

He added that Al Bashir operates with "a conspiratorial mentality," by separating South Kordofan and the Blue Nile from Darfur in a desperate bid to split the SRF. Minawi added that "whatever speeches Al Bashir may give, the Doha peace document is a failure. What is happening in reality, affirms this. Let Al Bashir say what he wants, we do not believe his moody statements."

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