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Darfur rebels submit joint position paper for talks with Sudan

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August 5, 2007 (ARUSHA, northern Tanzania) — The rebel groups participating in Arusha consultations meeting have submitted formally a joint position paper to the AU-UN envoys. The paper includes a new demand related to the resettlement of Darfur IDPs and refugees.

The opening session of the DPA non-signatories conference held in a resort in Arusha, Tanzania, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2007. (UN)

"The rebel representatives have presented a joint position paper for the forthcoming peace talks with the Sudanese government." Ahmed Hussein Adam the spokesperson of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) told Sudan Tribune.

According to Ahmed, the rebel groups participating in Arusha consultations have included in their paper a major point related to the resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the refugees. He added that including this point become highly crucial for successful talks with Khartoum.

He further underscored of the deterioration of the IDPs and refugees situation in the camps. Adding, that Khartoum encourages settlement of alien nomads in the villages and area belonging to the IDPs and refugees who are suffering in the camps.

An internal UN report, revealed by The Independent, says that up to 30,000 Arabs have crossed the border in the past two months. Most arrived with all their belongings and large flocks. One UN official said the process "appeared to have been well planned". The official continued: "This movement is very large. We have not seen such numbers come into west Darfur before."

Ahmed said that the rebel delegations request that the individual compensations should be among the agenda of the talks; besides the question of land ‘hawakeer’.

In the wealth sharing, the issue of the communal compensations should be included in the talks emphasizing that "both the individual and the communal compensations are to be considered according to the international law standards. This means the compensation would not be limited to direct damage but includes moral prejudice." He said.

Regarding the power sharing, the rebel groups reiterated their demand of fair representation on the federal level and this to in accordance with the number of Darfur population. "Also we still want Darfur to be recognized as one regional entity for all the three current states."

The Darfur Peace Agreement signed in May 2006 maintains the three states with a referendum in 2010 to decide whether to establish Darfur as a unitary region with a single government.

On the date of the peace talks with Khartoum, “we suggest that the peace process can start within a period between two to three months. While the venue can be chosen by the mediators but of course we exclude countries which have security protocol with Khartoum.”

Ahmed said the talks between the rebel groups or with the Darfur envoys were fruitful. “All the groups want to send a message of unity”. He said.

SOLIDARITY WITH JAMOUS

In a very strong message of solidarity the JEM spokesperson told Sudan Tribune that the rebel delegates informed Darfur envoys that peace talks with Sudanese government would be compromised if Khartoum continues to ignore demands for the release of Suleiman Jamous.

He further said all the rebel groups attending the consultations urged Darfur envoys to work actively for Jamous release.

He disclosed that Jamous was in constant contact with the rebel delegations in Arusha. "He urged us to pursue the consultations in spite of Khartoum negative attitude related to his release. He also recommended us to work together and to be united.” Ahmed said.

"He reminded the delegations that our unity is necessary to ease the suffering of Darfur civilians."

(ST)

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