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Sudan Tribune

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Darfur peace talks are moving to decision making stage – rebel

October 20, 2010 (DOHA) — Sudanese parties engaged in the Doha talks are moving from negotiations to decision-making process in order to finalize a peace agreement they are preparing to ink in the upcoming weeks, a rebel official said Wednesday.

AU-UN mediator for Darfur Djibril Bassole (L) and Qatar’s state FM Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud, at a meeting with Sudanese and LJM delegations in Doha October 5, 2010. (QNA)
AU-UN mediator for Darfur Djibril Bassole (L) and Qatar’s state FM Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud, at a meeting with Sudanese and LJM delegations in Doha October 5, 2010. (QNA)
Yesterday, Tuesday, the mediation chaired a meeting of the steering committee composed of top officials in the negotiating delegations of Sudanese government and Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) to assess the progress made by the parties in five committees they formed, announcing the end of direct talks.

The steering committee has now to review the positions of the two parties on the outstanding issues and decide together on every point that the committees failed to agree on it. The security arrangements and power sharing include many contentious issues.

“Tomorrow the steering committee will receive formally the outcome of the five committees and will start discussions from 22 to 27 October on the outstanding issues submitted by the panels dealing with the different files,” said Tadjadine Bechir Niam who is LJM chief negotiator.

On 30 October the two delegations will initialize the minutes of discussions at the level of this committee and hand it over to the mediator who should propose compromises on the disputed matters, if there are any.

The mediation will work in a transparent way and will put out a detailed timetable of its activities during this period up to the day where a peace deal will be signed, he said.

ADVERTISING PEACE AND GAINING SUPPORT

LJM rebel official further said during this period of discussions and before to sign formally a peace agreement with the Sudanese government they plan to hold a series of public meetings with the Sudanese political forces, Darfur civil society, IDPs and refugees to explain the deal and win their support.

The LJM also will visit neighbouring countries and some members of the international community to meet the official authorities and the Sudanese Diaspora to brief them on the peace deal they reached with the government.

“We need to explain the agreement and listen to the point of view but also to gain their support to this agreement,” Niam said.

Asked about if they intend to contact the other rebel groups who are not part of the process, LJM top negotiator said the mediation will conduct contacts with the Justice and Equality Movement (LJM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) to persuade them to join the peace process.

He however stressed that nobody can escape Doha as it is the official venue of talks for peace in Darfur.

JEM rebels last May froze their participation in the process after signing a framework agreement with the Sudanese government while the SLM of Abdel Wahid Al-Nur, said he would hold a meeting for the leadership of the movement to decide on this regard.

The joint mediator Djibril Bassole said he is conducting contacts with the two rebel groups to convince them to join the process stressing that the process should be inclusive and any agreement needs to by comprehensive to ensure its implementation.

(ST)