January 8, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Gibril Ibrahim Thursday has denied statements by the Sudanese Vice-President Hassabo Abdel Rahman about a meeting the government is preparing to hold with him during the upcoming days.
In a meeting with the political leaders in Sennar State on Thursday, Abdel Rahman announced that his government would meet with JEM leader without further details. He further reiterated the government keenness to reach a negotiated peace agreement with the armed groups.
Reached by Sudan Tribune, Ibrahim however denied the preparation for direct meeting with the Sudanese officials, but admitted that initial consultations are taking place with the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) for an official meeting.
“I am not aware of any informal meeting between me and GoS officials,” he said in a written message to Sudan Tribune.
“There is an initial talk about AUHIP organizing an “informal meeting ” between JEM and SLM-MM on one side and GoS on the other, but no date or venue are fixed yet,” he further said.
Last Monday, the head of Darfur peace office and government chief negotiator Amin Hassan Omer disclosed that they are invited by the AUHIP to an informal meeting with JEM and SLM-MM. He added that AU hasn’t yet set a date for the meeting.
By the end of last year, sources close to the file said that the head of the Popular Congress Party, Hassan al-Turabi had proposed to Ibrahim to meet Sudanese government officials but the latter declined the invitation, insisting that such efforts should be conducted within the framework of the AUHIP.
On a related development, the national dialogue conference secretary general announced that 36 armed groups have joined the political process , adding that they agreed to allow extra time to the National Democratic Front in eastern Sudan, to complete the security arrangements in order to formally join the dialogue.
He further said the four groups that recently joined the process are : Sudan Liberation Movement -Second Revolution led by Abu al-Gasim Imam, Sudan Liberation Movement – Justice of Taher Hajer, SPLM – North Sector of Brima Hamdan, and New JEM of Mansour Arbab.