SLA's President Minni Minnawi threatens to suspend Darfur peace talks
In a press statement signed by Menni Arkoi Menawi, the SLM said the government was responsible for the failure of the peace talks because of its persistence in rejecting the representation of the Darfur people by a vice-president of the Republic during the transitional phase and the return of Darfur to one state with its original borders of 1956 and not compromising in all other areas of negotiation.
Photo: Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) fighters on patrol near Gereida, South Darfur in Western Sudan. (Derk Segaar/IRIN) Sudan Watch archive 2 Mar 2006.
On April 22, SLM leader Menni Minawi (pictured below) handed a strongly-worded statement to the AU and partners in Abuja. The 13-point statement accused the government of violating the ceasefire following the visit of deputy ruling National Congress party leader Nafei Ali Nafei to the Darfur states and of evasiveness in order to waste time.
The statement said the SLM had already paid its dues towards peace and that its leader had ordered all the SLM forces to be on high alert and await directives at any moment to implement orders.
The statement further called on the government to withdraw its forces from the areas it seized in Al-Tinah, Bassawa, Kernwi, Ambro, Anabaji, Al-Dor, Abdelshakoor, Ain saro in North Darfur State. It also demands the withdrawal of the Sudanese army from areas seized during the fourth round of peace talks like: Ashma, Al-Layat, Jar-AlNabi, Al-Tiwasha, Abu Karninka, and Mahalia.
Photo: A soldier from the SLA stands guard against crowds who gathered to witness the rebel SLA unity conference in Haskanita, in Sudan's eastern Darfur province October 29, 2005. (Reuters). Sudan Watch archive 11 March 2006.