Sudan, armed groups agree to establish special court for Darfur crimes

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January 20, 2020 (JUBA) - The Sudanese government and Darfur armed groups Monday agreed in Juba to establish a special criminal court for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

The government and Darfur armed groups delegations continue discussions in Juba over the political issues before to move towards the security arrangements as they pledged to strike a comprehensive peace deal next month.

Speaking to reporters after a negotiation session in Juba, Ibrahim Zariba, Sudan Liberation Forces Alliance (SLFA) negotiator and member of the SRF negotiating team announced that progress has been achieved on the chapter of transitional justice and reconciliation.

"The two parties agreed during today’s session to establish mechanisms for justice and accountability, including the Special Court for Darfur, which will investigate and prosecute those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur," Zariba said.

For his part, Ahmed Tugud Justice and Equality Movement Negotiator and SRF negotiating team member said that the discussions during Monday’s session focused on the grave violations committed by the al-Bashir’s regime and the impunity of the warlords.

"So, the parties agreed on all arrangements that would create a suitable environment for coexistence and stability in Darfur," Tugug stressed.

He further pointed out that the remaining issue on Darfur track can be resolved quickly and a peace agreement will be signed before the deadline of mid-February.

Last Friday, the government and Darfur armed group held a joint press conference to deny statements by Minni Minnawi leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) who had deplored a setback in the talks saying the government backpedalled on previous agreements.

The head of the government negotiating team for Darfur track Mohamed Hassan al-Taishi praised the unexpected progress achieved by the parties on Monday

He said that the agreement reached in today’s session on the transitional justice and reconciliation chapter is "an unexpected breakthrough".

The parties were determined to lay a solid foundation for justice and political stability in the country," he further said.

The parties did not speak about the al-Bashir handover to the International Criminal Court.

For his part, South Sudanese presidential advisor and chief mediator Tut Kew Gatluak told reporters that discussions on the security arrangement will begin next week.

Gatluak, further, announced the arrival of the Sudanese Defence Minister Jamal Omer to Juba to join the peace negotiations.