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Sudan Tribune

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Darfur groups seek Qatari participation in Sudan’s peace process

May 14, 2016 (PARIS) – Leader of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Gibril Ibrahim said they would ask the Qatari government to take part in the mediation efforts led by the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

JEM leader Gibril Ibrahim (C) speaks at the opening session of Darfur negotiations flanked by SLM-MM leader Minni Minnawi in Addis Ababa on 23 November 2014 (Photo courtesy of AUHIP)
JEM leader Gibril Ibrahim (C) speaks at the opening session of Darfur negotiations flanked by SLM-MM leader Minni Minnawi in Addis Ababa on 23 November 2014 (Photo courtesy of AUHIP)
He told Sudan Tribune that the leaders of JEM and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) led by Minni Minnawi would meet with the Qatari mediation late this month in continuation for the meeting which was held in Paris.

Last January, the Qatari Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmoud met in Paris with Ibrahim and Minnawi on their request to discuss their demand to open the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) for discussions.

Ibrahim said they sent a proposal to the AUHIP demanding an active Qatari role in Sudan’s political talks and in particular the Darfur peace process, pointing that Doha has invited the two movements to discuss the proposal.

He stressed that the Sudanese government wouldn’t take part in the Doha meeting. He further said that they will discuss several issues including the “composition of the mediation”.

“There are multiple parties which carry a mandate to mediate in the Darfur issue and Sudan’s issues [in general]. Those parties include the Qataris, the AUHIP and the AU-UN joint mediator. We want a joint mediation that could play this role without conflict” he said.

“We want to make sure that the mediation doesn’t exclude the Qataris. We want them to be part of the mediation but we don’t want the political process to be confined to the Qataris alone,” he added.

JEM leader further said the meeting would discuss the possibility of a greater Qatari role in Sudan’s peace process and in holding a true dialogue among the various parties.

“We would try to make the Qatari’s understand that the Sudanese issues couldn’t be divided … all political forces must participate [in the talks] on the indivisible issues in order to achieve comprehensive solutions,” he said.

Ibrahim also pointed to national issues that can’t be resolved within the framework of the peace talks in Darfur and the Two Areas including those pertaining to “the IDPs and refugees, occupied land, reparations and the justice.”

“National problems such as freedom, public justice, power and wealth sharing, human rights and governance would remain even if we reached a solution for the private issues [of Darfur and the Two Areas],” he said.

The Doha brokered the Darfur peace negotiations resulted in the signing of the DDPD by the Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) in July 2011. JEM which had initiated the process rejected the deal.

The two groups have engaged in peace talks with the government under the auspices of the AUHIP. However, several rounds of talks between the two groups and the government in Addis Ababa have stalled and no progress on the pending issues was made.

JEM and SLM-MM call for opening the DDPD for negotiations, saying some issues were ignored or not fairly treated, but Khartoum rejects such request.

Last week, the Qatari deputy prime minister who co-mediated the peace process with the former Joint Chief Mediator Gibril Bassolé , ruled out the opening of the DDPD for negotiations, stressing that the peace document is a framework text for peace.

He further said that any agreement can be annexed to the DDPD.

Ibrahim said the DDPD hasn’t achieved peace in the region, adding that attempts to stick to the document would shut the door on any serious talks in the future.

“We want to see how they are going to deal with this document [the DDPD],” he said.