SUDAN WATCH: International mediators making efforts to include Darfur rebel factions SLM and JEM in peace deal

Friday, May 05, 2006

International mediators making efforts to include Darfur rebel factions SLM and JEM in peace deal

Despite massive pressure from international mediators, only the Sudanese government and the main faction of one of the rebel groups - the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) - agreed to sign the deal, Sudan Tribune reported May 5, 2006. Excerpt:
Another SLM faction and the second rebel group - Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) - refused to sign it, but Zoellick said mediators were making efforts to make them change their position.

US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick on Friday said international mediators were trying to get the Abdulwahid al-Nur-led SLM faction to change its hardline position.

"You need to look at the proportions that are represented by the groups. You have the group that has the most significant forces on the ground, Minni Minawi group," he said.

"We are getting contacts with Abdulwahid al-Nur and his people saying they don't want to be left out," he assured.

He said the AU Peace and Security Council would meet on May 15.
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May 5, 2006 BBC report Who are Sudan's Darfur rebels? - excerpt:

The two groups fighting in Sudan's Darfur region - the Justice for Equality Movement (Jem) and the larger Sudan Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/M) - have very different ideological backgrounds.

SLA Secretary-General Minni Arkou Minnawi published a political declaration calling for armed struggle, accusing the government of ignoring Darfur. "The objective of the SLA/M is to create a united democratic Sudan.

JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim Muhammad published The Black Book: Imbalance of Power and Wealth in the Sudan, which accuses Arabs of having a disproportionate representation at the top levels of government and administration.

Although JEM and SLA come from different ideological backgrounds they have managed to co-operate in their fight against the government and the Arab militia, the Janjaweed.

But they have continued to maintain separate identities and this has led to tensions.

JEM still has links to Hassan al-Turabi, which is why it is accused by the government of being involved in an alleged coup plot in Khartoum, which it accuses Mr al-Turabi of masterminding.


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