Associated Press report - Darfur rebels, Sudan govt prepare to re-enter peace talks
- quotes JEM spokesman Hahmed Hussein as saying today,
"We are not ready to sign until the Sudanese give concessions to our demands."
In rejecting the AU draft, he said he was speaking on behalf of both his JEM and the other main rebel group, the SLM. Excerpt:
The rebels, who went to war complaining that their impoverished region had been neglected by the national government, say the AU draft pact fails to meet their demands for autonomy or for what they see as adequate representation in the central government.
Mr Salim said his team tried to strike a compromise on autonomy, creating a transitional authority for the region that would include rebel representatives and proposing that the people of Darfur vote by 2010 on whether to create a single geographical entity out of the three current Darfur states. A unified Darfur would presumably have more political weight, and the rebels had demanded one be created by presidential decree.
The rebels had also demanded a third vice president, from Darfur, be added to the national government. The compromise draft called for the president to include a Darfur official, initially nominated by the rebels, among his top advisers.
Mr. Salim said the expert would have "all the attributes of a vice president, except the name," and noted Sudan's constitution, drafted under a treaty that ended an unrelated, 21-year north-south Sudan war last January, permitted only two vice presidents.