SUDAN WATCH: Sudan's Janjaweed largely controlled West Darfur but were not present at Darfur peace talks - Why not?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Sudan's Janjaweed largely controlled West Darfur but were not present at Darfur peace talks - Why not?

The seventh round of Darfur peace talks has proved to be totally de-linked from what is going on in the field, says Gemmo Lodesani, UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for North Sudan.

"Out of three areas [under discussion in the Nigerian capital, Abuja] there is only one area that is moving - wealth sharing," he told IRIN in an interview January 20, 2006.

"Security is the area that should have been tackled last year because if you have a logical sequence of discussion, there should be security, power sharing and wealth sharing," he added.

Gemmo Lodesani

Photo: Gemmo Lodesani, UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for North Sudan, says too little progress is being made in the current round of Darfur peace talks yet violence against civilians, aid workers and African Union troops continues on the ground. (Shannon Egan/IRIN)

Note, in the interview Lodesani also drew attention to the ongoing insecurity in southern Sudan, which he said needed to be addressed urgently. The Ugandan rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), for example, had increased its attacks in recent months, jeopardising the safety of civilians and aid workers in the region. "There is a serious threat to security in the south. In my opinion, there is a need to beef up security," he noted.

He also noted that the talks had not considered mounting tension between Sudan and neighbouring Chad which are blaming each other for cross-border incursions. Chadian president, Idriss Deby, has announced that he will not participate in the African Union summit in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, next week.

The Abuja talks also ignored the very high level of insecurity in West Darfur State, he said, and the fact that Arab militias largely controlled West Darfur, but were not present at the talks.

[Sudan Watch Ed: Why not? Here's why: The Sudanese government represents the Arab militias aka Janjaweed. See Darfur genocide - You cannot say you did not know]

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