Darfur rebels' playing for time (again) costs countless lives and a fortune in aid
Reuters reports today that Jan Pronk, the UN's top envoy in Sudan, speaking after two days of meetings with SLA commanders, said they had requested the delay to hold a rebel movement conference to reach a unified position in the negotiations with Khartoum. Excerpt from the report:
"If a postponement is unavoidable ... it should be a very brief postponement," Mr Pronk told reporters. "But not a long postponement because that will not be accepted."Note, the report says agreements with Darfur rebel group leaders have often been ignored by commanders on the ground, but Pronk said they now recognised the need for a deal to end the violence in Darfur. Oh yeah, sure. We've heard that before. How can one view a bunch of rebels as capable or believe a word they say? They appear nowhere near disciplined enough and come across as a shambolic bunch of cold blooded murderers, thugs and bandits whose word means nothing.
"The commanders are united in their desire to continue the talks in order to reach a peace agreement by the end of this year," Pronk said.
He said he had advised them to hold the planned conference for all SLA commanders, political and humanitarian officials across Darfur in September or October.
The rebel leadership has quarrelled at previous rounds of talks in Abuja.
Pronk said that if the SLA did not reach a deal this year, they would have to negotiate under pressure next year, when he feared donors would reduce their humanitarian aid to Darfur.
"We are now entering a critical stage of the talks."
Tags: Khartoum donors bandits peace agreement SLA JEM murderers thugs protection security Sudan Darfur Africa rebels humanitarian aid aid worker UN