Darfur draft peace agreement reflects the spirit of the talks - LJM rebels

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April 28, 2011 (DOHA) — The rebel Liberation and Equality Movement (LJM) reacted to the draft peace agreement finalized by the mediation saying it expresses the spirit of talks with the government.

Late on the evening of Tuesday 27 April the mediators handed the draft of a peace agreement to the Sudanese government and two rebel groups participating in the peace process. the parties are urged to give their positions before the 7 May before a general meeting for Darfur stakeholders on 18 May.

LJM top negotiator Tadjadine Beshir Niam, told Sudan Tribune, that his movement formed several committees to study the draft peace agreement before to give their response to the mediation.

The rebel official said the proposed text "is consistent with the spirit of the negotiations and the mediators were keen to reflect in the proposed document".

Government and LJM delegations discussed during the past year the proposed texts however the rebel group recently warned that the conduct of a referendum before the signing of a peace agreement might undermine the process.

Talks over the power sharing and the administrative status of Darfur particularly stalled the process since November 2010.

Last December, LJM accepted a draft agreement establishing a regional authority and gives a vice-president to the rebels but Khartoum strongly rejected the propositions saying it violates the interim constitution.

The negotiating parties keep secret the content of the new draft peace agreement but reliable sources say the mediation kept its initial design with some modifications.

Jean Ping the chairperson of the African Union Commission accepted Thursday the resignation of Djibril Bassole from his position as Joint Chief Mediator. The latter is appointed as foreign affairs minister in his country Burkina Fasi.

Ping further said he will consult with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and "with the Government of Qatar and other key partners, with the view to ensuring that the ongoing negotiations in Doha lead to a positive and early conclusion".

Last week; Khartoum said it prefers that Qatar, which hosts the talks since two years and works closely with Bassole, can complete the process stressing that no need for a new joint chief mediator.