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Abu Garda steps up criticism of embattled DRA chief

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August 10, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The chairman of the Liberation and Justice Party (LJP) party, Bahar Idris Abu Garda, has renewed allegations directed at the head of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) Tijani Sissi, accusing him of corruption and mismanagement.

Bahr Idriss Abu Garda (AFP)

The former rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) which signed the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) with the Sudanese government in 2011 has split into two factions one headed by Sissi and the other led by Abu Garda.

Abu Garda, who is also Sudan’s minister of health, said at a press conference on Monday that his party split from the LJM after they became convinced that it is beyond reclaim, stressing that Sissi controls all decisions within the DRA.

He pointed that the DRA cabinet has held four meetings only during four years, adding the last meeting took place eight months ago.

Abu Garda also said the DRA is run by one-man policy, noting that Sissi has never met with the IDP’s in Darfur and resides in his house in the affluent neighbourhood of Kafuri in the capital, Khartoum.

The LJP leader further accused Sissi of stripping DRA ministers of their powers and exerting his control over the supervisory board.

Also, last month, the former rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) faction led by Bakheit Abdallah Dabajo who is also a signatory to the DDPD, accused Sissi group of controlling the most important five positions in the regional authority.

They mentioned the chairmanship, the deputy chairman, finance minister, head of DRA development and rehabilitation fund, and voluntary return commissioner.

It should be noted that the LJP has recently nominated its leading figure Osman al-
Bushra to be the DRA chairman. His nomination yielded support from JEM-Dabajo.

The DRA was established to serve as the major body for implementing the DDPD signed between the government of Sudan and the LJM in 2011.

Last month, the Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir issued a presidential decree extending the term of the DRA for one year effective 15 July, 2015.

POPULAR COMMITTEE ON THE DDPD

Meanwhile, a popular committee claiming to be responsible for following up on the implementation of the DDPD has introduced a document titled “The Third Way towards Consensus and Stability” to achieve comprehensive and just peace in the restive region.

The spokesperson for the group, Farouk Ahmed Adam, said in a press conference on Monday, the committee is comprised of 300 experts and college professors who spent a year and a half on preparing the document, pointing it is based on several pillars including unity, justice, freedom, equality and disclosure of facts.

The document has directed open criticism to the DRA saying it carried out only 50% of its objectives.

It expressed opposition to holding the administrative referendum in Darfur, pointing the move would create more divisions among the various components of the region.

Adam described the situation in the region following the establishment of the DRA as “very bad”, saying that more than 3 million IDPs are being held in “large prisons”.

He disclosed they would submit a memo to the presidency demanding formation of committee to review the performance of the DRA, saying the head of the DRA has “lost his way”.

The government forces conducted a brutal counter-insurgency campaign following the start of a rebellion in Darfur 2003.

The United Nations estimates as many as 300,000 people have been killed and almost 3 million people have been displaced during the ongoing conflict in Darfur.

(ST)

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