August 20, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – Abdel Wahid Al-Nur, leader of a Sudan Liberation Movement faction(SLM-AW), rejected an invitation extended by the joint peace mediator, Mohamed Ibn Chmbas, to attend a consultations meeting demanding that it should be addressed to the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) not to Darfur rebel groups.
“Yes, we have received invitations in our capacity of Darfur movements and we are in the SLM/SLA refused (it). (The mediation) said they would extend (another) invention to the Sudanese Revolutionary Front. We consulted with all our comrades in the Front and are waiting for this invitation”, Al-Nur said in a written statement emailed to Sudan Tribune by his spokesperson Nimir Abdel Raham.
“If the invitation is not done in conformity with what we mentioned we will not go”, he said.
The statement further stressed that their participation in a meeting that mediation organises in Arusha, northern Tanzania, should be in the name of the rebel alliance which includes Sudan Liberation Movement – North.
Multiple sources confirmed to Sudan Tribune that the mediation clearly says that its mandate is limited to Darfur and they cannot invite the SPLM-N which has another forum chaired by the former South African president Thabo Mbeki.
On the other hand, delegations of SLM led by Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) arrived in Arusha Tuesday as they had some delay due to the travel documents the African Union had to issue to the rebel representatives.
The meeting which is organised by the new joint mediator two years after the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) aims to explore rebels’ views before to hold talks with the Sudanese government in order to peacefully settle the 10-year conflict.
Abdallah Mursal, SLM-MM spokesperson, told Sudan Tribune that the Darfur rebel movements agreed to participate in Arusha meeting because it gives them a tribune to explain their point of view on the peace talks with Khartoum.
“The purpose of our participation is to explain our position and why we call for a comprehensive process for peace in all the parts of the country. What is the benefit of peace in Darfur if war is raging in other parts in Sudan?”, Mursal said.
He also pointed out their dissatisfaction with the positions of the African Union and the UN Security Council supporting separate processes to achieve peace in Darfur from one side and Blue Nile and South Kordofan on the other side.
“We do not refuse to negotiate, but negotiations must be held under the auspices of a neutral party, and the implementation of its outcome should be guaranteed, also any peaceful process leading to the survival of the regime of the National Congress Party is useless”, he added.
According to the SRF rebels, the comprehensive peace process, which includes all the Sudanese political forces, should lead to the establishment of an interim period and prepare for free elections they hope to win, ending the regime of president Bashir who rules the country since 24 years.
Mursal warned that the rejection of the comprehensive peace process eventually “means the continuation of war in Darfur and the different regions until the fall of the regime”.
He further said that his group has prepared a dossier about the humanitarian situation in Darfur they intend to debate in the meeting which will be attended by representatives of the international community and regional observers.
“The humanitarian and the security situation is deteriorating in Darfur and this issue should be tackled by all the parties”, he said.
SLM-AW spokesperson Nimir Abdel Rahaman reaffirmed that the participation or not in Arusha meeting will not affect the unity of SRF forces and its attachment to the comprehensive process.
He also pointed out to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Darfur and urged international pressures on Khartoum to renew the residence permits of UNHCR staff.
“The silence of the international community over Khartoum arrogant policies worsens the situation on the ground”, he added.