SUDAN WATCH: Darfur rebels welcome U.S. support to get a better deal

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Darfur rebels welcome U.S. support to get a better deal

Great reporting by Estelle Shirbon for Reuters - excerpt from her latest report:
"Despite all its shortcomings, this process has yielded a draft agreement which is the best the (rebel) movements will get ever," said Alex de Waal, an adviser to the African Union (AU), which is mediating the talks.

"They have to make the shift from criticising the many injustices that they and their people have suffered, to seeing that a much better future can be grasped on the basis of this agreement."
Note the report says Abdelrahman Musa Abakar, chief negotiator for one of the rebel factions, welcomed Zoellick's involvement.
"This means the U.S. government really cares ... They can put pressure so that we can get better terms," he told Reuters.

But other rebel delegates reiterated old complaints and diplomats said internal divisions were holding back progress. Decision-making is arduous for the rebels, who are split into two movements and three factions with a history of infighting.
Surely failure to get a deal now will lead to more bloodshed and suffering in Darfur. A collapse of the talks would also be a serious setback for the AU, which seeks African solutions to African problems.

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