9 May 2014

South Sudan: Minnawi Unaware of Upcoming Meeting With Chadian President

Paris — Darfur rebel leader Minni Minnawihe has no idea about an upcoming encounter with Chadian president Idris Deby, but expressed readiness to brief him about their roadmap for a comprehensive solution in Sudan.

A member of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) Hassan Bargo, who is close to president Deby, this week stated that Ndjamena is arranging a meeting between the latter and the chairman of the Sudan Liberation Movement - Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) .

"I do not have any contact with the Chadian government on this respect, but if (president) Deby wants to meet me l will see him to explain the position of the SRF," (Sudanese Revolutionary Front), said Minnawi in a press conference held in Paris Friday with SRF deputy chairman and head of media department Al-Tom Hajo.

Minnawi further casted doubt on the credibility of the NCP official, saying he is not a member of the Chadian government or a Zaghawa leader.

Deby last month met with the chairperson of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in Paris, requesting him to follow the call of Zaghawa tribal leaders for peace and to end the 11-year conflict in Darfur. The Chadian president also, according to Gibril Ibrahim, said he would meet with Minnawi who too belongs to the same ethnic group.

Hajo backed Minni's position stressing that the SRF leaders seek a peaceful solution to the armed conflicts in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, and they welcome any effort aiming to help in achieving a comprehensive peace solution in Sudan.

He said they are touring in Europe to explain their recent roadmap for a holistic peace process that includes a humanitarian cessation of hostilities, direct negotiations talks on the issues of Darfur and the Two Areas, and a national constitutional conference.

The SRF deputy leader however blamed the head of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), Thabo Mbeki, saying he declined their repeated demands to meet him.

"The only person who does not want to meet with the SRF is Mbeki", he said adding that the attitude of the mediator is not "neutral".

The SRF rebels propose that the AUHIP chief, Darfur joint mediator and the UN special envoy for Sudan broker talks between them and the Sudanese government.

However, Sudanese government and the African Union Peace and Security Council say the rebels have to hold separate talks to discuss issues related to the Two Areas and Darfur before to take part in a national dialogue process including all the political forces.

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