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Rebel Group Says Khartoum Lacks Political Will to End Darfur Crisis

  • Peter Clottey

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

The secretary for peace negotiations with the Darfur-based Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) told VOA President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir’s government has yet to demonstrate the political will to resolve the Darfur crisis at peace talks in Doha.

Tadjadine Beshir Niam said Khartoum has often reneged on agreements signed with his rebel group despite promises to fully implement the various accords.

“The Liberation and Justice Movement and the government signed a framework agreement and a ceasefire agreement. Based on that agreement, we formed five commissions: power sharing commission, wealth sharing commission, security arrangement commission, IDPS (internally displaced persons) refugees and compensation commission, as well as justice and reconciliation commission.”

Niam also said the commissions were scheduled to present their positions and findings to the mediation team led by Dijbril Bassole, the joint African Union and United Nations chief mediator for Darfur.

Officials of the government in Khartoum are holding talks with the LJM rebels in Qatar’s capital aimed at resolving the crisis in Darfur. The Doha talks are scheduled to be concluded this week, and Niam said the commissions are supposed to complete their work.

map of Darfur
map of Darfur

“We managed to make some progress but, again, the government has gone back during the last (Muslim holy month of) Ramadan. But, we have resumed the new talks five days ago and all the commissions are supposed to conclude their work by 15th and 16th of this month.”

Other rebels in Darfur have dismissed the LJM as insignificant adding that it has no military support capable of ensuring peace in the restive region.

The rebels signed a ceasefire agreement with Khartoum in March after another Darfur-based rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), quit the talks accusing the government of attacking its positions.

The ceasefire agreement was aimed at resolving the conflict in Sudan's restive western Darfur.

But, last week, a delegation of the U.N. Security Council expressed concern about the renewed violence in Darfur after ending a four-day trip to Sudan.

Niam said Khartoum needs to show greater commitment towards ending the Darfur crisis.