SUDAN WATCH: Qatari Peace Bid: UN, EU, AU, AL, UK, US & France support the joint Arab-African peace initiative for Darfur led by Qatar & Sudan People's Forum (SPF)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Qatari Peace Bid: UN, EU, AU, AL, UK, US & France support the joint Arab-African peace initiative for Darfur led by Qatar & Sudan People's Forum (SPF)

Qatar have proposed to host peace talks to end the five year war in the western Sudanese region of Darfur

The following compilation of news reports and photos provides an overview of the recently launched joint Arab-African peace initiative for Darfur.

Inauguration of Sudan's People Forum (SPF)

Photo: Sudan's President Omar Al-Bashir (middle right) inaugurates the initiative among high ranking members of the government, opposition party leaders and the head of the only rebel movement to make peace with the government Oct. 16, 2008 (See IRIN report by Aly Heba, Khartoum Oct. 17, 2008)
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"THERE WILL BE NO RETURN TO WAR"

At the inauguration, the highly regarded joint African Union (AU)-UN Chief Mediator for Darfur, Djibril Bassolé, told hundreds of Sudanese politicians and dignitaries from Libya, Qatar, Egypt, the AU, the Arab League and the UN: "It is my deep conviction that the end of the crisis and the building of peace must be done by the people of this country themselves,"

Both UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and chairman of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, support and encourage the initiative, he added.

"The Sudanese regime is engaging in a peaceful and political solution. That fact, in itself, is extremely important," he told reporters afterwards.

A separate initiative by the Arab League, led by Qatar, to bring rebels to the negotiating table should act as a complement to this national initiative, he said.

In an exclusive statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, on the eve of his departure from Saudi Arabia following a recent two-day visit, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said: "There will be no return to war".

Reportedly, the president recently told a rally in Eastern Sudan: "Whoever wants to fight us can go ahead and lick his elbow".

On November 02, 2008 British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued a statement calling on all the Sudanese parties to engage with the Qatar bid to host the Darfur peace talks.

France has sent technical teams to support plans for the talks.

The Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur Djibril Bassole

Photo: Djibril Bassole arrived in El-Fasher the capital of North Darfur August 28, 2008 to take up his new post as the Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur. Mr. Bassole was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General and the African Union Chairperson in June to conduct full-time mediation between Darfur rebels and the government. The top diplomat of Burkina Faso is expected to use his wealth of experience to re-energize the stalled Darfur peace process. (UN Radio)
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INAUGURATION OF SUDAN'S PEOPLE FORUM (SPF)
October 17, 2008 IRIN report by Aly Heba in Khartoum, Sudan - excerpt:
The United States, Darfuri rebels and Sudanese opposition parties have greeted a new initiative to solve the Darfur crisis with scepticism and boycotts, while Khartoum, the Arab League and the UN say it’s the region’s best hope.
 
The government says Darfuri leaders, representatives of the displaced, civil society organisations and academics have also been included, but critics say the majority are government-controlled groups.

Still, many national and international stakeholders hope this initiative will offer something new.

According to presidential advisor, Mustafa Osman Ismail, it is the first time a conference on Darfur unites both government and opposition parties.
 
"It is my deep conviction that the end of the crisis and the building of peace must be done by the people of this country themselves," joint African Union (AU)-UN chief mediator for Darfur, Djibril Bassolé, told hundreds of Sudanese politicians and dignitaries from Libya, Qatar, Egypt, the AU, the Arab League and the UN at the inauguration.

Both UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and chairman of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, support and encourage the initiative, he added.

"The Sudanese regime is engaging in a peaceful and political solution. That fact, in itself, is extremely important," he told reporters afterwards.

A separate initiative by the Arab League, led by Qatar, to bring rebels to the negotiating table should act as a complement to this national initiative, he said.

Rebels have been criticised for refusing to negotiate with the government, but this initiative is considered by some a first step in drafting a blueprint that can be used to bring cynical rebels onside.

"The rebels can only be convinced when they see the seriousness of this forum," said Sudanese Foreign Minister, Deng Alor, of the SPLM, the political wing of the southern movement that was at war with the government for more than two decades before signing a peace deal in 2005.

"Now, they are sceptical, they are suspicious, because there is nothing so far," he told IRIN.

"But if we come up with a very clear position, then I think some of the rebel movements – if not all of them – could be persuaded."

Inauguration of Sudan's People Forum (SPF)

Photo: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (right) and Vice-president Salva Kiir (left) celebrate the inauguration of the Sudanese People's Initiative for resolving the Darfur problem.
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SUDAN PRESIDENT AND SAUDI KING HOLD TALKS IN RIYADH
October 30, 2008 report from Sudan Tribune - excerpt:
October 29, 2008 (RIYADH) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir arrived at Saudi Arabia’s capital for talks with King Abdullah.

Sudan news agency (SUNA) said that Al-Bashir led a high level delegation on a two day visit.

The Sudanese ambassador to Riyadh Abdel-Hafiz Mohamed told the daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that Al-Bashir briefed his Saudi counterpart on efforts to resolve the Darfur crisis in light of the ‘People of Sudan’ initiative.

Mohamed further said that Al-Bashir reiterated that the initiative will join the Qatari one to speed up a political settlement.
Sudanese President Al-Bashir & Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Photo: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah (R) welcomes Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir at the Royal Palace in Riyadh Oct. 29, 2008 (Reuters/ST)
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FM: SUDAN LAUNCHES DARFUR PEACE INITIATIVE
November 02, 2008 Xinhua report from Cairo, Egypt - excerpt:
Khartoum has recently launched a people's initiative to find a peaceful solution to the Darfur problem, visiting Sudanese Foreign Minister Deng Alor Kuol said here on Saturday.

Following talks with his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Abul Gheit, Kuol said the initiative aims at reaching a common ground between the government and the opposition regarding the settlement of the Darfur crisis, said Egypt's MENA news agency.

The initiative, launched by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in mid October, will be offered to the Arab League and the African Union, Kuol was quoted as saying.

Sudan will also try to turn the initiative into an UN initiative to help resolve the Darfur crisis, added the Sudanese top diplomat.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Deng Alor Kuol

Photo: Sudanese Foreign Minister Deng Alor Kuol talks following his meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, not pictured at the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Nov. 02, 2008. The Egyptian Presidency logo is at background. (AP/Amr Nabil/Yahoo)
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QATARI OFFICIAL TO MEET CHADIAN PRESIDENT, JEM CHIEF OVER DARFUR
November 1, 2008 (LONDON) via Sudan Tribune - excerpt:
The Qatari state minister for foreign affairs is expected to travel to the Chadian capital during the next week where he would hold talks with the President Idris Deby and the chairman of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

The Qatari visit comes after criticism by the Chadian head of state of the sideling of his country in the ongoing efforts to end Darfur crisis. Also, the rebel group warned that their participation in the talks depends also of their implication in the preparations.

Qatari minister will discuss with JEM chief also the role of the joint mediator, and his implication in the ongoing preliminary arrangements.

Qatari state minister for foreign affairs

Photo: Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud, Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, who is in charge with the preparation of an initiative to mediate between the government and rebel groups met last week with the joint Chief mediator for Darfur, Dijbril Bassolé. The implication of Bassolé who is the representative of the international community is seen by the rebels as crucial to guarantee any eventual peace deal with Khartoum.
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SUDAN URGED TO WORK WITH QATAR ON DARFUR RECONCILIATON
November 03, 2008 AP report via Jerusalem Post, Israel - excerpt:
The prime ministers of Britain and Qatar urged all factions in Sudan on Sunday to work with Qatar as it plans a reconciliation conference to end the conflict in Darfur.

Qatar, which is building off its success in mediating Lebanon's political deadlock earlier this year, said last month it would host a meeting to try to find an end to the conflict in Darfur.

Negotiations are under way to set a date for the conference. But Qatar's minister of state for foreign affairs, Ahmed bin Abdallah al-Mahmoud, has cautioned that the gathering would need good preparation to succeed.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Qatari counterpart, Sheik Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani, issued a statement Sunday November 2, 2008 calling on all parties in Sudan to engage with the tiny Persian Gulf country.
UK PM & Qatar PM in London

Photo: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown welcomed Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, Prime Minister of Qatar, to 10 Downing Street Oct. 22, 2008. (10 Downing Street website)

UK PM meets Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in Dubai, UAE

Photo: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown meets Emirati vice president, prime minister and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (R) at the Zabeel Palace in Dubai on Oct. 04, 2008 during his two day visit to the United Arab Emirates. The British premier was on a tour of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates trying to persuade the energy rich region to top up the International Monetary Fund's 250 billion dollar emergency bailout pot. (PA/Downing Street Flickr/text from AFP/Getty Images/daylife.com)
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BRITAIN SUPPORTS QATARI EFFORTS TO HOST DARFUR TALKS
November 03, 2009 Sudan Tribune report - excerpt:
The Arab League asked Qatar in July to spearhead a joint Arab and African efforts to end the crisis. Consultations are under way to set a date for the conference.

[Lord] Malloch-Brown, the [UK's] Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister, told the press in Doha “The UK is committed to securing a lasting peace settlement in Darfur. We welcome all constructive initiatives towards that, under the overall leadership of the United Nations/African Union joint chief mediator Gibril Bassole whose work we strongly support.”

The minister further said “We hope the initiative proposed by Qatar for a peace conference can make a positive contribution to these efforts with the participation of all relevant actors."

France which has close ties with the tiny Gulf state also backed the Qatari efforts and sent technical teams to support plans for the peace talks on Darfur conflict.
Lord Mark Malloch-Brown

Photo: British Foreign Office Minister, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown (UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office)

UK PM in Doha, Qatar

Photo: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown arrives in Doha, Qatar, accompanied by the UK's Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Milliband and the UK's Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, Nov. 02, 2008. (PA/Downing Street)  

UK PM meets Qatar PM in Doha, Qatar

Photo: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown meets his Qatari counterpart, His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim, in Doha Nov. 02, 2008. (PA/Downing Street)

UK PM at Qatar gas complex

Photo: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaks to British engineers at a Shell liquid gas plant in Qatar, Nov. 03, 2008. (PA/Downing Street)
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SUDANESE MINISTER IN TALKS OVER PEACE AGREEMENT
November 03, 2008 Nation report from Cairo, Egypt - excerpt:
On 3 November 2008 Sudan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Deng Alor Kuol held talks in Cairo, Egypt with Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Musa (pictured below) on the progress of the implementation of South Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement and Darfur issue.

Following the meeting, the Minister said in a joint press conference with Arab League Secretary-General, Amru Musa that he had briefed Mr Musa on the efforts being exerted by Sudan, especially concerning the peace process and Darfur issue, besides the issues pertinent to development in southern Sudan and the role of the Arab League in encouraging the Arab investments and boosting confidence between the North and the South.

On the Arab initiative, which is led by Qatar, the Minister affirmed that the Sudanese government has made serious steps in this respect, pointing to the convening of the The Sudan People's Forum (SPF) which he said aimed at reaching a common ground between all the Sudanese people, and presenting its outcomes to the Arab League and the African Union to help them in the coming talks between the government and Darfur movements.

Arab League Secretary-General, Amru Musa

Photo: Arab League Secretary-General, Amr Musa. Arab League declared its intention to conduct consultations in Qatar to fix a date for the next Arab/African Ministerial Committee on Darfur issue besides discussing the next step prior Qatar talks between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebels. (Sudan Vision Daily). Interview: Arab League Chief, Amr Musa Talks to Asharq Al-Awsat October 20, 2008.
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UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL STATEMENT
November 05, 2008 UN Security Council Statement (via ReliefWeb) - excerpt:
On November 3, 2008, in a briefing to the 15-member UN Security Council, Edmond Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operation said that the official launch of the Sudan People's Initiative for a political settlement for Darfur had been a significant development that, if inclusive, could go a long way in addressing the concerns of Darfurians.

The Initiative, now renamed the Sudan People's Forum (SPF), had formed seven committees dealing with such issues as development and reconstruction, security, internally displaced persons, refugees and voluntary returns.

SPF had received the final reports of all seven committees and its Presidential Board would prepare final recommendations by the second week of November.
Edmond Mulet, UN'S Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping

Photo: Edmond Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operation (Wikipedia)
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SUDANESE PRESIDENT TO ASHARQ AL-AWSAT: THERE WILL BE NO RETURN TO WAR
November 04, 2008 interview by Turki Al-Saheil (Asharq Al-Awsat, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) - in full:
Bashir has ruled out the option of returning to war saying that the initiatives and conventions regarding the peace process in Darfur are “proceeding well.”

In an exclusive statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, on the evening of his departure from Saudi Arabia following a two-day visit, al Bashir played down reports of processes of armament in Southern Sudan in preparation for a possible war.

Al Bashir said, “The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (also known as the Naivasha Agreement), which ended the South Sudan conflict, and the Darfur Peace Agreement (signed in Abujah, Nigeria) invited the ‘people of Sudan’ to solve the problems in Darfur. On the domestic level, it is proceeding well and we do not fear the return of war as that is now in the past.”

Concerning the peace initiative in Darfur, which has faced a number of obstacles, the Sudanese president said, “The first stages are always difficult,” but added, “Thanks to God and to the awareness of our leaders and our people at a grassroots level, they have agreed that there will be no return to war, and the only path is one of dialogue and the culture of peace.

President Omar al Bashir affirmed that his country is committed to holding the elections and the announcing the results as scheduled.

In response to a question about the possibility of his deputy Salva Kiir Myardit, now backed by the opposition party, winning the forthcoming elections, he said, “We are committed to holding the elections as scheduled, and this is essential, just as are we committed to the results regardless of their nature, and this is a conviction that is a political and moral commitment. We welcome all free, fair and transparent competition.

With regards to the development of the Darfur region, al Bashir criticized a group of donors saying it failed to fulfil its obligations satisfactorily. “[With regards to] what the donors promised [in order] to support the peace process in our country; the donors did not fulfil their promises even before the global financial crisis hit,” said al Bashir. He added that his country would have to rely on its own potential; “Therefore we rely on God, and on our own potential, as well as the support of our neighbouring countries and allies, whether they are Arab, Islamic, or African.” It is unlikely, therefore, that international donors would fulfil this obligation with regards to the development of the region following the recent economic crisis.

In this regard, al Bashir also emphasized the need for initiative when the Islamic Conference is held in Saudi Arabia in February 2009 in the hope that it will play, “an effective role in the reconstruction of Darfur, the provision of services and the establishment of a foundation for development, God willing.” The Organization of the Islamic Conference revealed recently its intention to hold a conference in Saudi Arabia regarding the development and reconstruction of Darfur.

Sudanese President Omar al Bashir held an in-depth meeting with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz recently. He returned to Sudan from Medina, Saudi Arabia, following a two-day visit during which he performed the Umrah pilgrimage and visited the Prophet’s Mosque. Al Bashir stated that the topic of bilateral relations between Sudan and Saudi Arabia was the most important issue that was discussed with King Abdullah.
Sudan's President Al-Bashir:  "No return to war"

Photo: Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir addresses participants at the launch of a national initiative to bring peace to Darfur, in Khartoum Oct. 16, 2008. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah) Source: usdaily.com
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SUDAN PEOPLE'S FORUM (SPF)
November 06, 2008 Sudan Tribune report "Forum of People of Sudan to conclude session next Wednesday" - excerpt:
November 5, 2008 (KHARTOUM) – A government-led “people’s initiative” for peace in Darfur, which last month hosted foreign dignitaries and some of Sudan’s political parties but no rebel movements, will conclude next Wednesday and issue its recommendations. The closing session will be addressed by President Omar Al-Bashir.

The official news agency SUNA reported that the head of the forum, Al-Tayeb Haj Attia, has completed his work concerning all the committees.

Minister of Industry and Chairman of the Information Committee of the Forum Jalal Yusof Al-Degair told the news agency that the presidency committee of the forum will meet on Sunday to review the recommendations and proposals and make recommendations on them to the forum, which is to convene next Monday in order to prepare final recommendations.
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"WHOEVER WANTS TOO FIGHT US CAN GO AHEAD AND LICK HIS ELBOW"
November 07, 2008 Sudan Tribune report from Khartoum, Sudan Nov. 6, 2008: "US, France & UK “underneath my shoes” says Sudan president" - excerpt:
The Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir lashed out at Western countries and accused them of trying to topple his regime during the last 20 years.

“We will not be broken and we will not kneel or be driven because they will not prolong our life or reduce our term in office” Al-Bashir told a rally in Eastern Sudan.

“Money and ruling is not in the hands of US, France & UK. They are all underneath my shoes” he said angrily.

“Do not worry too much about what Ocampo says. He is too weak to do anything because his decisions are made by his masters in US, France & UK” Al-Bashir said.

“Whoever wants to fight us can go ahead and lick his elbow” Al-Bashir said.
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FRANCE BACKS QATAR INITIATIVE ON DARFUR CRISIS
November 09, 2008 Gulf Times report from Paris, France - full copy:
France has reiterated its support for the Qatari initiative aimed at achieving peace in Darfur and at alleviating the suffering of civilians in the region.

A statement issued by the French Foreign Ministry called on all the parties concerned to involve themselves actively in the Qatari initiative in order to reach a negotiated peaceful solution.

The statement said HE the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmoud during his visit to Paris last Tuesday met the French Minister of State of Co-operation and Francophone Alain Joyandet, French Presidential Adviser for African Affairs Bruno Joubert and officials at the office of French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

“France reiterates its support for the Qatari facilitation initiative which aims at settling peace in Darfur and alleviating the suffering of the civilians,” the statement said.

It added that France calls on all the parties concerned to work hard with Qatar to help achieve a negotiated peaceful solution, adding that “France and Qatar renew their full support for the United Nations and the African Union's mediator Djibril Bassole.” – QNA 
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EGYPTIAN LEADER VISITS SUDAN TO DISCUSS DARFUR
November 10, 2008 VOA report by Joe DeCapua in Washington - excerpt:
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak met for several hours today in Khartoum with Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir. The two men discussed the crisis in Darfur, over which the International Criminal Court (ICC) could issue an arrest warrant for Mr. Al-Bashir for war crimes.

President Mubarak is quoted as saying, "The best way to find a solution to this problem is the Arab and African initiative."
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US URGES COORDINATION BETWEEN QATAR AND JOINT MEDIATOR ON DARFUR
November 12, 2008 Sudan Tribune report (via Sudan Views):
US special envoy to Sudan Richard Williamson

A senior US official today welcomed the Qatari imitative to mediate between the warring parties in Darfur but stressed that it must be carried in conjunction with African Union(AU) -UN chief mediator.

The US special envoy to Sudan Richard Williamson made the remarks during his phone conversation with the Qatari state minister for foreign affairs Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al-Mahmood.

The Qatari news agency said that Williamson “expressed appreciation” to efforts led by Doha “in coordination with the AU-UN Joint Chief Mediator Djibril Bassole”.

Washington has previously shown lack of enthusiasm to the Qatari initiative and a Sudanese one fearing that duplication of efforts on Darfur could lead to scatter it in different directions.

The top US diplomat for African affairs Jendayi Frazer is believed to have conveyed this message during her meetings with Sudanese officials in Khartoum earlier this month.

The Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa is scheduled to arrive in Qatar next Friday to set a date for the Arab-African joint committee on Darfur peace efforts.
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JOINT MEDIATOR BRIEFS AFRICAN UNION ON DARFUR PEACE EFFORTS
November 18, 2008 Sudan Tribune report:
(ADDIS ABABA) - The AU-UN joint chief mediator briefed the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (PSC-AU), at its 157th meeting held in Addis Ababa last Friday, on his efforts to bring peace in Darfur, the AU said.

In a statement on Monday, the AU said that Djiibril Bassolé informed the PSC-AU on consultations underway with the various stakeholders as well as by the representatives of the government of Sudan.

The Council expressed its support to the AU-UN joint chief mediator and urged all Sudanese parties to fully cooperate with him in order to facilitate the early resumption of the political dialogue and the conclusion of a comprehensive peace agreement that builds on the Darfur Peace Agreement signed in Abuja on May 5, 2006.

The Council expressed its support to the African-Arab Initiative led by the State of Qatar, whose objective is to facilitate the resolution of the Darfur crisis and to support the efforts of the AU-UN mediation.

The AU said the Council also welcomed the outcome of the recently concluded Sudan People’s Forum, which it said constitutes a positive step toward political dialogue and reconciliation.

The U.N. and the A.U. chiefs appointed officially Bassolé as joint mediator for Darfur on June 30, 2008. The joint mediator is based in El Fasher. He conducts his mission on a full-time basis.
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DARFUR REBELS TO GO TO QATAR FOR PEACE CONSULTATION
November 18, 2008 Reuters report by British journalist Andrew Heavens in Khartoum, Sudan:
A powerful rebel group on Monday said it was ready to discuss Qatar-sponsored peace plans for the Darfur conflict, signalling a possible softening of its stance towards the initiative.

Senior commanders from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) earlier this month said they would not attend a proposed peace conference in Doha and demanded instead one-to-one talks with Sudan's government.

But a spokesman for the insurgents on Monday said the group would send a delegation to Doha for "consultation" with the Qatari leadership.

"This doesn't mean in any way that JEM has accepted the Qatari initiative," the group's London-based spokesman Ahmed Hussein Adam told Reuters by text message.

"This is just to explain to them our vision on the peaceful solution and to hear more from them on the issue."

JEM

International experts say 200,000 people have died and more than 2.5 million have been driven from their homes since mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms against the government in 2003, accusing it of neglect.

To quell the revolt, Khartoum mobilised mostly Arab militias who have been accused of carrying out mass killings, rape and plunder in the remote western region.

The Arab League asked Qatar to sponsor new peace talks weeks after the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) made moves to indict Sudan's president for orchestrating war crimes in Darfur in July.

A high-level Qatari delegation met JEM's leader Khalil Ibrahim on the Sudan-Chad border earlier this month to try to persuade him to attend. Adam said the movement was considering its formal response to the Qatari appeal.

Khartoum last week launched its own peace push to tie in with the proposed Qatar negotiations, promising a ceasefire, compensation for displaced Darfuris and development projects.

Analysts have said both the Qatari initiative and the Khartoum proposals are diplomatic bids to persuade members of the U.N.'s Security Council to use its powers to postpone the ICC's moves.

Rebels accused Sudanese troops of breaking the ceasefire days after it was announced, by attacking their positions on Friday and Saturday.

Sudan's armed forces dismissed the accusations, saying government soldiers had clashed with armed bandits in north Darfur once on Friday, in a confrontation that did not amount to a breach of the ceasefire.
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SUDAN PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN QATAR FOR UN SUMMIT November 28, 2008 Sudan Tribune report - excerpt:
(DOHA) The Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir arrived today at the Arab Gulf state of Qatar where a UN summit on development is set to begin tomorrow.

A delegation led by Al-Bashir left Khartoum on Friday with the Comorian president with on board his plane heading to Doha.

Qatar state media said that Al-Bashir met with the ruler of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani upon his arrival.

Simultaneously the Qatari daily Al-Sharq reported that a delegation of Darfur Justice Equality Movement (JEM) will arrive on Sunday. However Sudanese officials no meeting is scheduled with the rebels.

Qatar is leading a mediation effort on the Darfur crisis.

Sudan president arrives in Qatar for UN summit

Photo: Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir (Center) and Comoros President Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi (Left) arrive in Doha (QNA)
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QATAR'S EFFORTS TO RESOLVE DARFUR CRISIS LAUDED
November 29, 2008 QNA/Peninsula Qatar report - excerpt:
(DOHA) President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso praised Qatar’s efforts to resolve the Darfur crisis and reiterated the EU support to the initiative for solving the crisis.

“We support all initiatives that aim to resolve humanitarian crises expressing the hope that this initiative would solve the problem,” Barroso said in a press conference held at the Sheraton Hotel on the sidelines of the UN International Conference on Financing for Development.

Barroso said he had met with the Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir, leaders of the Darfur movements, the commander of the African forces and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon to discuss the grave situation in Darfur.
President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso

Photo: President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso
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AL-BASHIR, SARKOZY DISCUSS DARFUR ISSUE TODAY, DOHA
November 29, 2008 Sudan Vision Daily report:
The Sudanese-French summit will review Sudan efforts in respect of Darfur issue resolution as well as to obstacles confronting peace realizing on the ground, particularly the armed movements reluctance to come to the negotiating table.

Informed sources reported to Sudan Vision that Bashir  may urge Sarkozy to make pressure on SLM leader, Abdulwahid Nour, who is now residing in France, into accepting peace negotiation with Khartoum. Moreover, the source added that the President will call on the French leader to assume a more positive role in favor of the peace process in Sudan rather than relaying negative signals encouraging rebels to stand aloof.

French Elyse spokesperson released that Sarkozy will urge the Sudanese government to exert more effort that could support the French attempt to suspend the ICC claim against President Al Bashir.

The spokesperson added that France wishes to revive Sudan peace process with assistance of Qatar and other Arab States.

In another development, informed sources stated that Al Bashir and the Chadian President, Debby, would held a bilateral summit on the sidelines of Doha conference for discussing advancement of Khartoum-N'djamena relationships following diplomats swapping.

Bashir & Sarkozy

Photo: In the attendance of the Prince of Qatar, HH Prince Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, President Al-Bashir and the French President, Sarkozy, will discuss issues related to Darfur in Qatari capital, Doha. (Khartoum- Al Sammani Awadallah)
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Postscript from Sudan Watch
Re above report 'WHOEVER WANTS TOO FIGHT US CAN GO AHEAD AND LICK HIS ELBOW'


Lick his elbow eh? The Sudanese certainly have an interesting way with words. I have just tried to lick my elbow and found it impossible to do. Try licking your elbow to see what I mean. Heh. Peace and love from Ingrid, author of Sudan Watch.

God bless all the peacemakers and children of Sudan.
+ + + Rest In Peace all those who have perished in Sudan + + +

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