October 16, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — The partners of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) agreed to settle issues related to the implementation of security arrangements within a month, as the process is stalled since last March.
- Acting JSR; Aichatou Mindaoudou Souleymane speaks on Monday at the of the Second Meeting of the Joint Commission of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur in Khartoum ( Photo Albert Gonzalez Farran – UNAMID)
Khartoum witnessed Monday the second meeting of the Joint Commission of the DDPD to discuss ways to break the deadlock between the Sudanese government and the former rebel Liberation and Justice Movement over the integration of LJM combatants in the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process.
Since March 2012, during a verification exercise to evaluate LJM combatants, the Sudanese Armed Forces refused to integrate many of them fighters in the DDR process and also disregarded others sites where the formers rebels claim to have fighters.
The meeting agreed that "the Ceasefire Commission, should conclude the verification exercise in areas not verified, and conduct a desk review of the outcomes by 15 November 2012," announced a statement released at the end of the meeting.
This stalemate delays the whole process as the former rebels are frustrated by its continuation, particularly the government continues to not honour financial commitments needed to implement other provisions in the peace document.
Acting UNAMID chief, Aichatou Mindaoudou, told the parties that "we have to note that the process has been very slow and, in the case of the work of the Ceasefire Commission, can even be described as stagnant."
Others aspects of the security arrangements, due to the difference over the verification process, also remained unimplemented. The DDPD provides to disarm and disband militia groups but the recent surge of violence in the region showed that many of these groups remain active.
The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting however said that the Government of Sudan (GoS) had submitted a comprehensive plan to disband these groups. It further said that UNAMID chief commander who chairs the Ceasefire Commission (CFC) reviewed the proposed plan and suggested some modifications.
"The Commission welcomed GoS decision to respond to the CFC Chairperson’s observations by 12 November 2012, and observed that the full implementation of the provisions related to the disarmament and disbandment of armed militia, will mitigate increasing number of security incidents in Darfur."
It is not clear if the government will disband its militias as they continue to play a certain role in the counter-insurgency plans. Also, the resumption of rebel attacks against the government forces might hamper the enforcement of this aspects of the DDPD.
A donor conference is expected to take place in Doha next December and the two peace partners feel the need to accelerate their efforts to implement this crucial security measures to convince donors of their seriousness and to provide the needed funds to implement the recovery and development projects.
Mindaoudou in her statements pledged to support the efforts to the regional authority to identify and assess the needs for economic recovery, development and poverty eradication in Darfur.
She further urged the Sudanese government to "to continue to collaborate closely with their international friends and partners, including by providing them with access indispensable to our common work, to all areas of Darfur, in the interest of peace and development."
Last Saturday Tijani Al-Sissi met with the head of Sudanese security and intelligence services to discuss ways to remove security restrictions imposed n foreign donors who want to identify development projects in the region.