Home | News    Sunday 14 August 2016

Darfur peace talks on knife-edge over rebel locations

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JEM leader Gibril Ibrahim talks to reporters in Addis Ababa on 13 August 2016 (ST Photo)
By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

August 13, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – Direct peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, between Sudanese government and Darfur rebel movements cones to a verge of collapse as rebels throw out requests to disclose fighters’ locations.

The Sudan government delegation demanded an alleged 13 rebel locations that could be defined by coordinates are disclosed.

In an interview with Sudan Tribune, Sudan government chief negotiator on Darfur track, Amin Hassan Omer said signing cessation of hostilities agreement will be impossible unless rebels disclose their locations.

“How can I sign an agreement with you without telling me your whereabouts?”

The rebels are saying “come and sign a cessation of hostilities with me but try to find me because I can’t tell you where I am” Amin further went into mocking their stance.

However the Darfur armed movements have entirely rejected the governments demand.

The delegation of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement - Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) are negotiating a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access deal with the government.

The two matters are seen as confidence building measures paving the way for their participation along side the Sudan Call groups in a national constitutional conference in Khartoum.

JEM and SLM-MM said it is too early to give the details of their forces at this stage of negotiations. they said they will only disclose their locations when a reliable development is reached with the other party in the political process and a security arrangements agreement is signed.

“There is no cessation of hostilities agreed any where in the world that discloses locations of enemy pinpoints” leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Gibril Ibrahim told Sudan Tribune.

He said the movements are ready to disclose only the areas while also the government is not holding the declared unilateral ceasefire as it promised.

“We can’t tell them our positions while the government is bombing using its air forces” Gibril said.

“Telling them today the position of our forces would mean inviting them to bombing us tomorrow” he added.

He said that government fighter jets continue to bomb areas in Darfur.

He said government air force jets hit Jebel Marra area today and yesterday.

“We will not disclose our positions the way they wanted” Gibril added.

He further went into saying that if the government insisted on having coordinates of locations “We definitely are not going to sign the cessation of hostilities.

However he said if a ceasefire agreement is reached, oppositions are ready to reveal their locations in clear definition with GPS coordinates.

During today’s extensive deliberations, the Darfur rebels have also asked for a humanitarian mechanism to monitor the flow of humanitarian assistance to the people in need.

“The relief is not flowing the way we wished, even the way international donors sought to be,” Gibril said.

Khartoum delegation, refused to accept opposition’s proposal instead wanted the armed groups to join the government humanitarian mechanism and be part of it, a request the the two groups dismissed.

The Darfur rebels have also demanded the release of prisoners of war (POW), saying there are a in a terrible situation, with two died of tuberculoses last week.

However government said it is not ready to talk about POW at this stage.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 14 August 2016 10:20, by sudani ana

    Sudan government must understand that JEM can’t disclose their location because the few left alive of their forces after Goz Dango are either located in South Sudan or Libya. The whole world knows this.



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