Sudanese FM Lam Akol says only parties to the DPA could agree any changes and amend the deal when reality on ground dictates
U.N. special envoy Jan Pronk wrote in his June 28 weblog that many things needed to added to the May 5 peace deal such as more transparency in disarming pro-government militias and international security guarantees, which were key demands of the rebels who refused to sign the deal.I say, do you think Mr Pronk would use his personal weblog to suggest how to put new life into Darfur's Peace Agreement, without clearance from his employers? I don't think he would. If you want to break an impasse, float an idea, open up dialogue, start a debate, shake a few trees, use a weblog! I'd like to see President Bashir start one. I'm serious, it would be great to learn more about life in Khartoum and what his colleagues, family and friends think about the millions of Sudanese people without homes, food, water, medics, education and gainful employment. I wonder what Mr Akol means when he says "... we will amend the peace deal when the reality on the ground dictates."
But Foreign Minister Lam Akol dismissed Pronk's statement. "An addition is an amendment," he told reporters in Khartoum, adding only the parties to the deal could agree any changes to the deal. "We will never accept an amendment because Pronk says ... we will amend the peace deal when the reality on the ground dictates (and) it does not," he added.
Pronk called this a "new political fact" that required additions to the deal. But Akol said Pronk was in no position to say that. Calling Pronk "junior", he said: "Do I believe Pronk or do I believe (U.N. Secretary-General) Kofi Annan?" he said, adding Annan had not echoed his envoy's words when he met him on Sunday.
Photo: Sudan's National Assembly. Sudan Tribune article Sudanese parliament ratifies Darfur Peace Agreement July 1, 2006.
Displaced people in Mornei, West Darfur
Photo: Displaced persons rallying in camp Mornei, 30 miles South of El Geneina, West Darfur. The people demonstrate for peace, but against the Darfur Peace Agreement and against the cut in the food rations which had been announced shortly after the signing of the agreement. Caption: Jan Pronk - Weblog June 26, 2006. Photo: Paula Souverijn-Eisenberg