SUDAN WATCH: Darfur rebels given until end of May to sign peace deal

Monday, May 15, 2006

Darfur rebels given until end of May to sign peace deal

The African Union today gave two rebel groups (Khalil's JEM and Nur's SLA faction) a further two weeks to sign a peace deal, Reuters reported:
Nigerian FM Olu Adeniji, chair of AU Peace and Security Council, said the two hold-out rebel groups had been given more time to accept the peace accord.

"The extension of the signature for those who didn't sign the agreement will be laid open until the end of May, after which, failure to sign will indicate non-commitment to the peace process and the AU will take a decision," he said.

But one of Nur's close advisers said the international community should press Sudan's government to grant some extra concessions to make the deal more acceptable to the rebels.

"If we agree on this document as it stands because of pressure from the international community, we will not be able to return to our people," said Babiker Mohamed Abdallah.

"If the government is not serious, two weeks is not enough. If it is serious, even two days is enough," he told Reuters in the Nigerian capital Abuja.
Darfur peace talks, Abuja

Photo: US Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick, right, talks with Jendayi Frazer, US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, and British Cabinet member Hilary Benn sitting far laft, while Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, behind, walks pass at the peace talks meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, Friday, May 5, 2006. (AP Photo/George Osodi)

Minnawi and Khalil

Photo: Minni Arcua Minnawi (L), leader of main rebel group SLA and Ibrahim Khalil, leader of the smaller JEM rebel group participate in a meeting with Sudan government representatives during negotiations on a peace plan for Darfur in Abuja, Nigeria May 2, 2006.

SLA soldier outside Darfur peace talks

Photo: Khatha Nanluho, who is a rebel with the SLA stands outside of the venue of the Darfur peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria, Tuesday, May 2, 2006. (AP Photo/George Osodi)

JEM's Ahmed Tugod

Photo: Ahmed Tugod, the chief negotiator for Sudanese Justice and Equity Movement (JEM), gestures at the Darfur peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria, May 3, 2006. (AP Photo/George Osodi)

SLA rebel base Gellab N Darfur

Photo: SLA rebels waiting at their bases in Gellab, North Darfur, Sudan, in 2004, during a meeting with Africa Union officers. (AFP/File/Marco Longari)

Darfur rebels at peace talks in Abuja

Photo: Rebel faction leaders appear at the exchange ceremony of the African Union (AU) draft peace agreement for Darfur in Abuja May 5, 2006.

Darfur peace talks, Abuja

Photo: Sudanese government delegation members rejoice inside the venue of the peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria, Friday, May 5, 2006. (AP Photo/George Osodi)

Minnawi and Konare

Photo: SLA leader Minni Arcua Minnawi (L) is congratulated by Africa Union Commission President Alpha Oumar Konare after he signed the deal with the Sudanese government in the Nigerian capital Abuja May 5, 2006 to end three years of fighting that has killed many of thousands of people and forced 2 million to flee their homes. Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde

Darfur peace talks Abuja May 2006

Photo: An unidentified member of the SLA, reacts before they walk out of the peace talks meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, Friday, May 5, 2006. (AP Photo/George Osodi)

Darfur peace talks Abuja May 2006

Photo: Abdel Wahid Nur of the SLA faction, second right, together with members of his group walks out of the peace talks meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, Friday, May, 5 2006 refusing to sign the Darfur Peace Agreement. (AP Photo/George Osodi)

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