Sudan

Sudan and rebel LJM ready to resume Darfur peace talks Wednesday

September 28, 2010 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government and Darfur rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) said today ready to resume negotiations for a final peace agreement tomorrow, Wednesday.The mediation suspended the talks last August as the discussions between the two parties organized in the five committees made progress in some files like the wealth sharing while other panels suffer delay such as power sharing and justice.

The mediation also last week said intending to circulate a preliminary draft peace document to all the parties without exception as it will serve as basis for a comprehensive peace agreement.

Speaking from Doha, LJM secretary for peace negotiations, Tadjadine Beshir Niam, told Sudan Tribune they informed the Joint Chief Mediator in a meeting held today that the talks should resume from where they stopped.

Omer Adam Rahamah, spokesperson of government delegation said they expect "the talks to continue from where we left off". But he welcomed discussions on the draft document if it would allow progress it the talks.

The different committees are: Wealth Sharing, Compensation and Return of IDPs and Refugees, Security Arrangements, power Sharing and Administrative Status of Darfur, Justice and Reconciliation. Besides that there is the steering committee.

Asked about the progress achieved in the five panels, Niam said wealth sharing committee finalized 80% of its work. "On the issue of justice we agreed on 13 points from 23 but we diverge on the mechanism of implementation," he added.

Regarding the compensation of war affected civilians, the two parties agreed on the general principles but on the return of IDPs and refugees, Niam said they do not agree because the government speaks about resettlement and the LJM wants IDPs return to their homeland.

Sudanese government endorsed earlier this month a new strategy to end Darfur conflict. The talks with the rebel groups in Doha are one of the five pillars of the plan. However the government said wants to organize the return of IDPs, to establish security and implement recover and development projects.

LJM voiced its opposition to this strategy and asked the government to bring these issues on the negotiating table. LJM secretary for negotiations said today that all the issues tackled by this strategy are "post conflict activities".

"This is a wrong approach. We have to reach peace first and settle the consequences of the conflict after," he said.

Abdel-Wahid Al-Nur the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) says government should disarm militiamen, organize IDPs return to their homeland before to engage talks with the government. The rebel leader explain his position saying the government used to not honor its commitments.

Ghazi Salah Eddin, Sudanese presidential adviser in charge of Darfur file said recently the government still studying ways and mechanism to implement the return of displaced civilians and the compensation.

The conflict which started in 2003 displaced more than four million people from their homeland. UN agencies say some 2.5 million are living in IDPs and refugee camps.

The government says it wants a peace deal to be signed with the rebel groups before the referendum on self-determination for southern Sudan expected to take place in January next year.

(ST)