Accessibility links

Darfur Rebel Group Preparing to Resume Peace Talks

  • Peter Clottey

A senior official of the Darfur-based Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebels told VOA his group will continue holding consultations with mediators with the aim of “re-engaging” the government in Khartoum to jumpstart stalled peace talks in Qatar.

Ahmed Hussein Adam, spokesman for JEM, said his group firmly believes in resolving the Darfur crisis through “political dialogue” instead of what he described as Khartoum’s military aggression.

“We went there [Doha] to hold consultations with the mediation on the next step regarding the peace process and regarding the JEM participation in the political process and we had a very serious, very transparent and very constructive consultation with the mediation,” said Adam.

“We submitted [to] them a paper actually containing about 10 points, which is basically about procedural issues regarding the political process and how JEM can resume its participation in the talks. This is basically about the political strategy for the political process, like the issue of methodology regarding the political process [in the talks].”

Last week, the rebel group met with a senior Qatari government official and the United Nations/African Union mediator for Darfur, Djibril Basole, in Doha.

JEM recently pulled out of the peace talks with the Sudanese government in after accusing the national army of attacking its positions.

But, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged the rebels to return the negotiating table saying JEM’s withdrawal significantly undermined efforts to resolve the problems in Darfur.

Adam said his group presented proposals it believes can help resolve the Darfur crisis.

“JEM has been consistent in saying that peace is our strategic option, we have been working for peace," he said. "This kind of military struggle has been imposed on us by the government of Sudan. So, we always seek to find a political solution to this conflict. But, the problem is the other party, which is the NCP [National Congress Party], doesn’t believe in [a] political settlement [or a] negotiated settlement.”