Home | News    Tuesday 27 April 2010

Darfur rebel factions announce their merger with LJM

April 27, 2010 (DOHA) — A number of Darfur rebel factions joined today the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) led by Tijani El-Sissi, as part of the ongoing efforts to reunite the armed groups in the restive region.

LJM leader (C) with his supporter today during the press conference announcing the merger of some rebel factions with his group in Doha on April 26, 2010 (ST)

In a press conference held today in Doha, the official venue of the peace talks, LJM leader announced Monday the merger of five rebel factions with his group citing the SLM- Juba Unity, SLM-Unity, SLM-National Consensus, SLM-Abu Haraz and the Banner of Democratic Sudan.

He described the move as "historical" adding "we finish today the unification of the LJM while Sudan’s unity is facing enormous challenges" he further asserted that the 90% of the armed factions have joined his group now.

Established last February, the LJM is formed from two rebel groups one initially declared last year in Tripoli, Libya, and the other gathered by the US envoy to Sudan Scott Gration and called Addis Ababa group.

However, the SLM-Juba group and SLM-Unity had rejected to join the LJM contesting the leadership of El-Sissi who was a former governor of Darfur province and had no link with the rebellion.

Ahmed Abdel Shafi, leader of SLM-Juba, told Sudan Tribune they decided to merge within the LJM because only unity would allow them to achieve a just peace and get the rights of Darfur people.

"Divisions have weakened the resistance," he further stressed.

Ahmed who is expected to be appointed as vice-president said LJM structure would be reshaped in order to ensure the representation of all the groups.

LJM and JEM of Khalil Ibrahim are holding separate peace talks with the Sudanese government in Doha. Both have signed a framework agreement with Khartoum.

However, JEM and Sudanese government trade accusation of violating a ceasefire agreement and failed to make progress in their discussions since 23 February where they signed the agreement.

Talks are expected to resume next month after a three weeks suspension due to the general elections in the country.

Sudan’s government top negotiator said last week they will return to Doha after the announcement of the results of presidential elections.

A rebel group led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur still, remains out of the Doha process. He asks Sudanese government to disarm its militias, and provide security to the IDPs allowing them to return to their homeland.