Juba — The Sudanese government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance achieved a breakthrough on Darfur during the peace negotiations in Juba, South Sudan, today. They reached agreement on fundamental issues such as accountability, reparations, and the establishment of a special court to try perpetrators of serious human rights and international humanitarian laws violations.
The negotiating parties today also reached agreement on the competencies of the Land Commission and the civil service, and the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, the Netherlands.
The negotiating parties reasserted their eagerness to reach a full peace agreement within the next two weeks, which is before mid-February, as scheduled in the peace negotiations timetable.
The mediation team has directed the negotiating parties at the Darfur track and the Two Regions (Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains) to bring their technical delegations to start negotiations on the agenda of the security arrangements. It is only in Darfur, Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains that the rebel movements are armed.
In a press statement after Monday's negotiating session, Mohamed El Taayshi, the spokesperson for the government delegation, stated that both parties did not expect a breakthrough on justice and reconciliation on Darfur.
El Taayshi said that Monday's negotiations on Darfur focussed mainly on fundamental issues, which made it possible for both parties to agree on ways to address development, peace and security issues.
Ahmed Ahmed Tugud, the chief negotiator of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), explained that the negotiating parties agreed on the main issues "because of the common ground that facilitated the discussions".
He stated that the session focussed on human rights violations, accountability, and reparations for the victims.
Ibrahim Zariba, chief negotiator of the Sudan Liberation Forces Alliance (SLFA) stressed that both sides agreed on the issue of accountability. The negotiating parties also agreed to set up commissions to establish a special court in Darfur. This court would have a mandate to try alleged perpetrators of grave human rights violations such as crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Both parties also acknowledged the role of traditional mechanisms and the national judiciary.
Minister of Defence
On Monday, Minister of Defense and Chairman of the Security Arrangements Committee, Lt Gen Jamaleldin Omar , arrived in Juba with a negotiating team. It was expected that Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok would go to Juba today as well.
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