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Sudan’s al-Bashir mocks armed groups over delay of Darfur peace talks


Al-Bashir supporter holds a banner saying"just you remain" in power a slogan his partisans invented to counter calls to step down in Nyala on 14 Jan 2019 (ST photo)

January 14, 2018 (NYALA) - Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir Monday has mocked the postponement of peace talks by the armed movements in Darfur due to the over three-week unrest in the country during which over 24 people killed.

He also criticized the Chairperson of the Sudan Liberation Movement Abdel Wahid al-Nur for his continued rejection of negotiation with the government.

In a speech delivered in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, al-Bashir said the "recent problems" in the country had prompted some movements to boycott the negotiations with the government.

"They said there is no need to agree on peace with the government because it will fall," he said before to add "they will wait for a long time but we will not wait for them and we will seek to achieve peace because it is the responsibility of the state".

The Joint Chief Mediator Jeremiah Mamabolo and the Qatari Special Envoy for Conflict Resolution Mutlaq Al Qahtani extended an invitation to the Sudanese government, JEM and Sudan Liberation Movement Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) to meet the Sudanese government in Doha on 6 January.

Last Saturday, the head of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Gibril Ibrahim announced from Paris their decision to postpone the peace talks in solidarity with nationwide demonstrations calling for al-Bashir to step down.

"The government has killed a large number of demonstrators and arrested most of our allied political leaders. Also, it continues to suppress peaceful protests," said JEM and SLM-MM chief negotiators in a letter sent to the Qatari mediator on 231 December, seen by Sudan Tribune.

Regarding Abdel Wahid al-Nur the leader of another Sudan Liberation Movement group (SLM-AW), al-Bashir said the rebel leader has no fighters supporting his rejection to negotiate.

He added that he objects to any understandings thinking that he will defeat the government and also govern Darfur and the whole Sudan.

Since the Abuja peace process which ended in 2006, Abdel-Wahid has refused to participate in any peace talks demanding that the government should first repair the consequences of the conflict like disarming the militias, restitution of grabbed lands, compensations for the displaced civilians.

Peace talks, according to the holdout rebel leader, should be on the root causes of the conflict.


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