24 January 2014

Sudan: JEM-Bashar Suspends Darfur Peace Committee

Khartoum — The Bashar faction of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM-Bashar) announced the suspension of its joint Darfur peace committee with the government on Thursday, while criticising the Darfur Peace Agreement Follow-up Office of "delaying the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement".

Spokesman for the JEM-Bashar, Sadiq Yusif Zakaria, said in a statement that the DPA Follow-up Office is "not as optimistic" as the movement, as it is "stalling the implementation". He claims that the government's slowness in the joint committee "does not achieve the objectives set up in the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.

"The JEM-Bashar does not have the authority to proceed with the implementation of the agreement. But the movement will continue to move towards the implementation as agreed upon." Zakaria added that "the options of the movement are open at all levels".

Dr Amin Hassan Omar, head of the DPA Follow-up Office, commented on Friday that he is not obligated to provide the breakaway faction with any exceptions out of the signed peace document. He stressed that "the movement is demanding things that are not in the powers of the office, nor what has has been agreed upon in the Doha Document for Peace".

'Limited progress'

The head of the UN peacekeeping organisations, Hervé Ladsous, briefed the Security Council on the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur on Thursday. "I can report that the signatories have achieved some limited progress, primarily in the areas of planning and administration. But these successes, if one can call them, did not result in direct and significant benefits to the general population of Darfur."

Ladsous said that all parties must accelerate the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace.

This document, designed to address the root causes of the conflict in Darfur, was signed in May 2011 by the Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), and by the Bashar faction of the JEM in April 2013. The Bashar faction is chaired by Bakhit Abdallah Abdel Karim ('Dabjo'), after the death of Mohamed Bashar in a violent clash with mainstream JEM forces in North Darfur in May 2013.

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