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Egypt plans to launch initiative for Darfur peace - rebels

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April 1, 2009 (PARIS) — A delegation from the rebel United Resistance Front (URF) is visiting Egypt to discuss a peace initiative that Egypt plans to launch, the group said today.

Bahar Idriss Abu Garda

The Egyptian government is conducting a series of contacts with Darfur rebels in order to see wither in can play a role in the resolution of the six year conflict in western Sudan. Also Egypt which one of the biggest contributors of Darfur peacekeeping mission seems bothered by its exclusion from the Doha process brokered by the Qatari official and the joint chief mediator.

Headed by Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, the URF chairman, the rebel group is conducting talks with the Egyptian officials over an initiative that Cairo plans to launch to resolve the Darfur conflict and the Sudanese issues in general, said Abdel Salam Kittir the director of the URF chairman in a statement received by email.

The URF signed last month in Libya a common ground agreement with the SLM-Unity and other rebel factions in order to take part in Doha peace process with one delegation.

However, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) called in the past for separate peace talks with Khartoum hinting it accepts only the participation of another rebel movement led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur in the talks.

Abu Garda, who is a former JEM leading member, splinted from JEM and created JEM Collective leadership in October 2007. JEM veteran Abu Garda was relieved from his position as Secretary for Western Sector on September 26, 2007. He was against the removal of the former JEM commander in chief, Abdalla Banda.

The URF had been created from five factions in Juba on April 18, 2008 after talks sponsored by the former AU-UN envoys for Darfur in April 2008. However two small SLM factions led by Adam Ali Shoggar and Khamis Abdella Abakr broke away from the URF on July 27, 2008.

Adam Shoggar joined JEM in March 2009.

(ST)

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