President Omar al-Bashir this week announced an immediate ceasefire in the
Darfur region of western Sudan, including the disarming of pro-government
Mr. Bashir is facing a possible
war-crimes indictment by the International Criminal Court and this has prompted
many to say that the proposal is an attempt aimed at persuading the ICG not to
pursue the indictment, as it could jeopardize any peace initiatives
Some rebels groups have already
dismissed the proposal as an empty gesture.
Fouad Hikmat is an analyst with the
Brussels–based International Crisis Group (ICG). He told VOA’s Akwei Thompson
the proposal is a good move.
He said “I think the call for a ceasefire was a
good move by the president, and also he says that he’s going to try to disarm
the militias – that’s also a good point. And this is seen in the context of
separating the issue of justice from finding peace in Darfur.”
big question is, is it “implementable”? ” the ICG analyst asked.
Basher had said the ceasefire was unconditional, but the rebel group Justice
and Equality Movement said it could not agree to it.
agreed with JEM questioning whether the proposal was really unconditional.
what I heard from the Justice and Equality Movement is, they say that what
Bashir called an unconditional
ceasefire, is unfortunately conditional,” Hikmat said.
that “in my opinion, I think I might concur with the Justice and Equality
movement, that there is a sort of “conditionality” being put with the “unconditional ” ceasefire, because
he (Bashir) said there has to be monitors, and those monitors need to find the
whereabouts of the rebels and how many there are, where they are based and so
on, and I think the condition on the ground is not conducive to something like
said it was too early to judge how the Obama government is going to handle the
Darfur conflict any differently from the Bush administration.