January 13, 2011 (KHARTOUM) — US Special Envoy for Sudan Scott Gration renewed his support to Sudanese government strategy to end Darfur conflict and announced that his country would work jointly with Khartoum to implement it.
Flanked by his aide for Darfur conflict Dane Smith, Gration ended Thursday a two-day visit to the restive region where he met with North Darfur deputy governor Idriss Abdalla Hassan and the head of UNAMID Ibrahim Gambari. He also paid a visit to IDPs camps in Deribat, Khor Abeche and Shangili Tobayai.
The Sudanese government plan aims to domesticate efforts to resolve Darfur conflict though promoting dialogue among local actors from states governments, tribal leaders, civil society and IDPs. It also plans to establish security and support the return of displaced persons besides recovery and development projects there.
In a meeting with deputy governor, Gration praised the Darfur peace strategy prepared by the government to address the eight year conflict. He further said his government has appointed Dane Smith to lead an American team to support these efforts.
“We know that those are your priorities, but we will work together and synergize our efforts to reach a sustainable peace in Darfur conducive to the return of displaced persons and refugees to their homes.”
The government’s strategy is founded on the conviction that the rebel groups have become an obstacle to end the conflict. Ghazi Saleh Al-Deen, presidential adviser tasked with the file, considers also that the rebels distorted the origins of the conflict which had been disputes over pastures and land between cattle herders and farmers.
Gration announced his support to the government’s plan since last August after a meeting with Ghazi besides Thabo Mbeki of the African Union panel and Gambari who is supposed to represent the United Nation.
The US envoy however emphasized the need to establish a ceasefire commission supervised by the UNAMID, comprising representatives from the government and all the rebel groups including Minni Minnawi, LJM, JEM and SLM-AW.
GOS-JEM CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES
The head of the Sudanese government negotiating team met today with the Qatari state minister for foreign affairs to discuss the proposal submitted by the mediation to the government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM).
Amin Hassan Omer also discussed with Minister Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud a cessation of hostilities draft agreement submitted by the mediation to the government and the Justice and Equality Movement.
Last December, Gration during a visit to Doha contributed to convince JEM rebels to commence talks on cessation of hostilities before to resume peace talks.
Sudanese government withdrew its delegation from Doha last month saying talks can be conducted through exchange of visits and correspondence.
The Joint Chief Mediator Djibril Bassole is expected in Khartoum on Saturday for talks with Sudanese officials on the peace process.