Khartoum — The 14th meeting of the Implementation Follow-up Commission (IFC) convened yesterday. Ambassador Jeremiah Mamabolo, the African Union-United Nation Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur, reiterated the need for increased coordination between stakeholder parties in light of the drawback of Unamid.
The meeting dicussed progress made and the challenges faced in the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD). It was chaired by the Special Envoy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Counterterrorism, Mediation and Conflict Resolution of the State of Qatar, Dr. Maged bin Mutlaq El Qahtani, and hosted by Ambassador Jeremiah Mamabolo. The Government of Sudan was represented by Dr Amin Hassan Omer, Presidential Envoy for Negotiations and Diplomatic Communications, and Magdi Khalafalla, Head of the Darfur Peace Follow-up Office.
Opposition parties and movements present at the meeting included National Liberation and Justice Party (NLJP) represented by Eltigani Sese; Liberation and Justice Party represented by Bahar Idris Abu Garda; Justice and Equality Movement(JEM)-Sudan faction represented by Bakhit Abdelkarim Dabajo; and Sudan Liberation Movement-Second Revolution (SLM-SR*) faction represented by Abulgasim Imam El Haj.
Also present were the representatives of the European Union, Canada, Chad, China, France, Japan, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States of America as well as Germany as an observer.
Topics to dicuss included the Darfur Peace Process and development, disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of ex-combatants; arms collection; Darfur Internal Dialogue and Consultation; voluntary return of internally displaced persons, among other issues.
Addressing the meeting, the Special Envoy El Qahtani renewed his country's pledge to continue its unwavering support for the DDPD: "On this occasion, I urge the donors to help in the return of IDPs to their areas of origin. Now, we urgently need to implement development projects in Darfur as our ultimate goal is to achieve security and peace in the region." All participants also called for more intensive efforts to facilitate the volunatry return of displaced people to their areas of origin, as well the reintegration of ex-combatants.
The AU-UN hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur, Unamid, was also a member and facilitator of the meeting.
Given Unamid's ongoing drawback, there was consensus on the need for more intensive coordination between Unamid, Darfur Peace Follow-up Office, signatory movements and other DDPD stakeholders. Presenting the IFC Secretariat's report to the meeting, JSR Mamabolo reiterated Unamid's commitment to continue to support the implementation of the remaining provisions of the DDPD. He said that "Unamid shall continue to engage with the IFC members for the sake of a comprehensive and sustainable peace across Darfur."
During the meeting, all participants welcomed the signing of the pre-negotiation agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)-Jibril Ibrahim and Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) in Berlin last week. After signing, the two armed movements affirmed that the next step is to negotiate about a cessation of hostilities and resumption of negotiations starting mid-January 2019 in Doha.
The parties to the IFC, including members of the international community have once again called on the leader of non-signatory Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) to come to the negotiation table and join the peace process.