SUDAN WATCH: Darfur peace talks in Doha by end of this month?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Darfur peace talks in Doha by end of this month?

Qatar's Minister of State attends a conference on Sudan
Source: Government of Qatar 
Date: 06 Oct 2009 (via ReliefWeb)
Moscow/(QNA)/06 October 2009/ Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs H.E. Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud took part in the practical- scientific conference concerned with sudan's problems which began here earlier Tuesday and runs for two days.

Addressing the opening session, H.E. Al Mahmoud tackled the peaceful anticipations of darfur settlement within the qatar-led initiative and the UN/AU joint mediator. he also highly evaluated russia's support to the initiative led by qatar and the UN/AU joint mediator.

H.E. Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud said in his adddress, I would like to thank the Government of the Russian Federation and, in particular, our friend Mikhail Margelov, the Special Envoy of the Russian Federation President to Sudan for his kind invitation to attend the aforesaid conference to talk about expectations of the peaceful settlement of the Darfur issue within the context of the initiative led by the State of Qatar and the joint mediator of the African Union and the United Nations.

He further said ,''As you know, the issue of Darfur has remained a concern haunting the local, regional and international conscience in view of the casualties and loss in properties such unfortunate conflict has produced.

The qatari state minister for foreign affairs went on to say that the State of Qatar''s efforts in the context of the Arab-African Ministerial Committee and from the very beginning were heading to seeking a comprehensive and urgent solution to the conflict in cooperation and full coordination with all sectors of the international community to spare the peoples and the region further scourge of that conflict.

H.E. Al Mahmoud added that such a ministerial committee held a meeting recently in New York on September 24, 2009, and issued a statement expressing its support for the efforts exerted on part of the UN/AU joint mediator and the Government of the State of Qatar to start peace talks in Doha, by the end of October 2009 which main objective is to reach a final and comprehensive agreement on Darfur.

H.E. Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud, went on to say, we have acted in this context, in full coordination with Djibril Bassole, the joint mediator of the African Union (au) and the United Nations (un) and knocked are still knocking on all doors to reach the sublime goal represented in achieving a comprehensive peace settlement to the conflict to ensure the rights and heal wounds and open the door wide for development and prosperity in Darfur in particular and in Sudan in general.

He further said, We appreciate and value the support of Russia to the initiative led by the State of Qatar and the joint mediator of the African Union and the United Nations. He also made clear that the efforts Qatar made in coordination with the joint mediator has given fruits which reflected in:

1 - the signing of a memorandum of understanding (mou) between the government and one of the armed movements in February this year, as per of which focus was made on the importance of the peaceful course and making it an approach to solve the issue.

2 - Most of, if not all, the armed movements showcase a clear desire to engage in the political process and renounce violence as a means to settle disputes after the peace process was limited to a few number of these movements.

3 - It is true that the split of the movements and their large number in Darfurian arena poses a real challenge to us and for the peace process, but there are encouraging signs which emerged in Tripoli and Addis Ababa, indicating that these movements have felt the need to consolidate and unify the negotiating positions and visions in order to facilitate and accelerate negotiations to reach a comprehensive solution.

4 - several sectors of the civil society have showed due concrn in order to participate in the peace process and has indicated their willingness to play a greater role both either inside the Darfurian community or with the movements.

5 - The support of the international community for the peace process remained so strong and shoulder its responsibilities in this concern.

6 - As a result of what we have mentioned, some signs appeared indicating to a decline in violence cycle and the rate of military operations in Darfur according to testimonies of some of the international officials who have worked in Darfur, the matter which contribute to easing and calming the thoughts of people and create a culture of peace and the acceptance of dialogue as a sole approach for solution.

H.e. Abdullah Al Mahmoud also said that our expectations for a peaceful settlement in Darfur stemmed from key foundations based on equation of the four principles namely unity, negotiations, peace and development, are summarized in:

The importance of reconciliation between the rebel movements and the consolidation of these movements on a common political agenda and work to make these parties more flexible since honesty and seriousness in peace makes it imperative on everyone to offer concessions.

_ Seeking to expand the participation and representation in the peace process to include, in addition to the rebel movements, other stakeholder groups in Darfur, namely the various civil society groups so that they feel they are part of the process and that any peace agreement to be reached would yield benefit to them and they will contribute actively in its implementation.

_ Coordination with the regional partners, as per principles of transparency and openness and that this partnership should be constructive.

_ The importance that the international community should allocate sufficient resources and set up clear goals that build the desired effect to reach the desired peace.

_ The necessity of maintaining relations stable between Sudan and Chad and this is an important element in the current diplomatic efforts and this is what the State of Qatar currently undertakes in coordination with the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

He the minister of state for foreign affairs further said .''It is true that the peace process in Darfur faces many challenges, the most important of which are divisions between movements and how to persuade them to Standardize their negotiating positions, as well as the absence of an effective agreement for a cease-fire to provide protection for civilians. in view of what has been achieved, promise of peace has become evident and that atmosphere was now more appropriate than ever before to reach a just and comprehensive peace in Darfur, h.e. al mahmoud said.

He said that we in Qatar are very much relying on the support of the international community and especially the most influential countries as well as the neighbouring countries and international organizations plus parties concerned with the conflict which are represented in the Sudanese government and rebel movements to each in turn to play their respective roles for supporting mediation and enable them to overcome some difficulties and challenges that slow the march of the peace process and that in turn will evenetually provide the appropriate environment for fair and overall elections in the country next year.

Concluding h.e. Al Mahmoud said, we would like to assure you that our part of the State of Qatar is committed to moving its efforts forward to contribute to the development of a clear vision for peace in Darfur, in full coordination with Bassol and help of the international partners and cooperation of the Government, the movements and the civil society.

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