Sudan

Sudanese president appoints Darfur executive authority

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December 28, 2011 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir appointed Tuesday the members of Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), five months after the signing of a peace deal with the former rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) last July in the Qatari capital.

In accordance with the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), the DRA is tasked mainly with the implementation of the peace accord. It also has to coordinate the post-conflict development projects with the federal government and different states in Darfur.

The regional body can borrow money from national and international institutions to implement projects but it has also to achieve reconciliation and the consolidation of security and social peace, and to create necessary conditions for the return of displaced people and refugees to their home.

In his presidential decree, Bashir appointed, a leading LJM member Yassin Youssef Ibrahim Idriss, assistant to the DRA chairman Tijani el-Sissi who is also the leader of the former rebel group.

Among the seven members of the DRA executive boy, the LJM got three ministers besides two from four commissioners appointed in the same day.

LJM former chief negotiator Tadjadine Beshir Niam is appointed minister of reconstruction, development and infrastructure, Osman Ahmed Fadel Wash (LJM) - Minister of technology development and capacity building, and Amna Haroun Mohamed Ali, Minister of Finance.

Niam reached by Sudan Tribune in Khartoum, said Amna is not a LJM member but however his group proposed her name in its list because they pledged to involve civil society and independent personalities in the DDPD implementation.

Abdel Hamid Ahmed Amin, a commissioner for justice, truth and reconciliation is also designed by the LJM but he belong to the civil society. "We estimate that such sensitive and important post should be held by a neutral person," Niam commented on this choice.

The other LJM commissioner Azhary Ahmed Shata took the office of voluntary return and resettlement.

The new authority also included two figures from the signatories of Abuja peace agreement: Ibrahim Mahmoud Moussa Madbo - Minister for Culture, Media and Tourism, and Adam Abdel-Rahman Ahmed Abdallah Commissioner of Lands.

Osman Mohamed Bushra Abakr, who is a former SLM-Unity faction, is appointed- Minister of health Affairs in the DRA. He negotiated a separate peace agreement directly with the government and returned to Darfur.

The remaining two ministers and commissioner are from the ruling National Congress Party. Mohamed Yousuf Alitlab Abbas – DRA cabinet minister, Hussein Hassan Abdel-Rahman Ibrahim, Minister of Youth and Sports. Major General Taj-Alsir Abdel-Rahman Abdallah Ahmed, Commissioner of security arrangements.

The DRA which replaces the Darfur Transitional Authority established by Abuja agreement signed with Minni Minnawi in May 2006. The new authority includes also a consultative organ to be named besides the executive body.

The Sudanese government and LJM agreed on the term to be used to describe the DRA members just one hour before the signing of the DDPD. Khartoum wanted to call them "commissioners" but LJM insisted on "ministers".

The Emir of Qatar convinced President Bashir to concede and accept LJM’s demand. LJM said they want to protect their prerogatives and competences fearing conflicts and power struggle with the NCP governors of Darfur states.

Two new states "East Darfur and Central Darfur" should be announced soon. LJM will also take the head of a state in the region.

(ST)