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Sudan Tribune

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Khartoum says rebels use Darfur as tool for ‘New Sudan’

November 19, 2011 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie ruled out new peace talks with Darfur rebel groups and accused them of attempting to use Darfur as tool for a vicious crisis called ‘New Sudan.’

Nafie Ali Nafie (Getty)
Nafie Ali Nafie (Getty)
Three main rebel groups in Darfur and the SPLM-N formed a new alliance to oust the government of President Omer Hassan al-Bashir. The forces of Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) said they would work together in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan but pledged to fight the regime also in Khartoum.

The government has accused the non-signatories of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) of having a regime change agenda and of not being interested in reaching a negotiated settlement to the eight year conflict.

Speaking at a meeting of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) held in Nyala, capital of South Darfur, Nafie criticized the SRF, saying that some circles want to put Darfur at the heart of a continuing crisis called ‘New Sudan,’ in an attempt to bring it again on the negotiating table.

He said that the government will not open talks with the rebel group, reiterating that Doha was the last venue for negotiations on the Darfur issue.

At the end of a two-day workshop organised this week by the US Institute of Peace in Washington, the State department called on the Sudanese parties to settle their differences by peaceful means. It also urged ‘the Government of Sudan to remain open and flexible to negotiations with the armed movements.’

However, Nafie ruled out any talks with the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel al-Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) saying such process would lead to negotiate again on the agenda of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

The Sudanese government and the SPLM negotiated the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) for two years (2003-2005), which led to the secession of the South Sudan last July after a referendum on self-determination.

The presidential assistant said the establishment of the new rebel alliance is a tool of the West and the United States specifically. The NCP accuses the West of working to dismember the country into small states.

The presidential assistant minimized the importance of economic challenge facing his government. In addition he criticized the coalition of some “aging” political parties with the “South Sudan’s supported” SRF. The Sudanese official was referring to the opposition Popular Congress Party led by Hassan al-Turabi.

Nafie further stressed that security agencies can defeat the rebels with “a little determination, and address” and after that the West will deal with the government “on the basis of equality and mutual respect without ideological, economic dominance or dictates”.

The SRF in its platform advocates for a secular and democratic Sudan based on the voluntary unity among the different regions. The United Nations criticized the rebel alliance saying it “represents a step further in a pattern of escalation that is counter-productive” and called on the parties to resume discussions.

State minister Amin Hassan Omer who is tasked with the enforcement of the Doha agreement urged the involvement of all Darfurians in the implementation of the peace deal. He stressed that the DDPD pledge to develop the region and provide services to Darfur’s people.