News / Africa

Darfur Truce Follows Chad-Sudan Rapprochement

Darfur rebel group, backed by Chad, to sign power-sharing deal with Sudanese president; comprehensive peace likely to remain elusive

Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (L) welcomes Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir upon his arrival in Doha to sign a peace deal between Khartoum and the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement, 22 Feb 2010
Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (L) welcomes Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir upon his arrival in Doha to sign a peace deal between Khartoum and the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement, 22 Feb 2010
Alan Boswell

The most powerful Darfur rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement, is scheduled to sign a truce with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir Tuesday in Doha, Qatar. The deal, negotiated in the Chadian capital N'Djamena, was spurred along by the recent pledge from Sudan and Chad to quit fueling the proxy war on their border.

The cease-fire is supposed to lay the groundwork for a formal peace deal to be completed by March 15, though a Justice and Equality Movement spokesman told Reuters that such a deadline was unrealistic. The final agreement is to incorporate elements of power-sharing, prisoner amnesty, and the integration of rebel forces in the Sudanese army.  Other rebel groups have not signed on to the deal.

Also expected in attendance at the signing ceremony is Chadian President Idriss Deby, whose presence underscores the shadow role that Sudan's western neighbor has played both in fueling the long-running war in the Darfur region, and, now, in possibly ending this segment of the conflict.

A senior communication official in Bashir's ruling party, Rabi Abdulaati, told VOA that the apparent rapprochement between the two countries set the stage for the agreement.

"The normalization of relations between Chad and Sudan definitely has a great role in this breakthrough between JEM and the Sudan government. I think also the visit by the president of Chad also has resulted in this frame agreement between the two parties," Abdulaati said.

JEM was one of two main rebel groups that rose against Khartoum in 2003, complaining of the western region's marginalization.  Most agree that JEM is now the strongest of the fractured Darfur rebel groups on the ground.

The group's leader, former government official Khalil Ibrahim, is from the Zaghawa tribe, as is most of JEM's leadership. Chadian President Deby is also Zaghawan, and has been accused of arming Ibrahim's rebellion in Darfur.

But this month at a rare meeting between the Sudanese and Chadian heads of states, the two agreed to end support for each other's rebellions. President Bashir is facing an election in April and is hoping to shore up support and stability in the vote-rich Darfur region, and President Deby is also beginning to get ready for upcoming polls.

Analysts say Chad's support for the peace arrangement could be the key factor that separates this cease-fire from previous short-lived deals. JEM is already claiming that Sudanese forces have  broken the truce, though the rebel group says it is still committed to the peace framework.

If the deal does manage to result in an end of hostilities between JEM and Khartoum, comprehensive peace in Darfur will still likely remain an elusive goal.

The other main rebel group on the ground, the Sudan Liberation Movement faction still aligned to exiled-leader Abdel Wahid al-Nur, has refused to join the peace talks. While JEM holds Islamist ideological ties with the Khartoum regime, SLA is an ethnic Fur-dominated rebellion seeking secular rule. Paris-based founder Abdel Wahid is reported to continue to enjoy wide popular support among the displaced populations on the ground.

More than 300,000 were killed and millions displaced in the conflict as Khartoum mobilized Arab militias to destroy the rebels' bases of support. Khartoum rejects the casualty figures.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid