SUDAN WATCH: JEM will not accept deal between LJM and Sudanese govt

Saturday, March 20, 2010

JEM will not accept deal between LJM and Sudanese govt

The United Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) is composed of ten Darfur anti-government factions. The recently formed group is headed by Doctor El-Tigani El-Sissi, with Abdel Aziz Abu Namousha as vice-chairman.

Speaking to SRS from Doha, a senior official of the LJM, Taj al-Din Basher Niam, said the signing of the ceasefire deal is an indication that a permanent agreement is about to be reached.

Speaking to SRS on Thursday from Doha, the Chief JEM negotiator in Doha, Ahmed Tugud, said that JEM will not accept the deal between the LJM and government because JEM signed a similar document with the government.

GONU Signs Darfur Deal with LJM in Doha
From SRS - Sudan Radio Service, Friday, 19 March 2010:
(Nairobi/Doha) – The Government of National Unity and the Liberation Justice Movement signed a three-month ceasefire deal on Thursday.

The deal was signed by the Presidential Advisor in charge of the Darfur dossier, Dr. Ghazi Salah al-Din on behalf of the government and the chairman of the LJM, Altijani Sisi in Doha. The signing ceremony was attended by the Vice-President, Ali Osman Taha, mediators and the international observers.

Speaking to SRS from Doha, a senior official of the LJM, Taj al-Din Basher Niam, said the signing of the ceasefire deal is an indication that a permanent agreement is about to be reached.

[Taj al-Din Basher Niam]: “The agreement includes a cease-fire for a period of 90 days which can also be renewed and the reason behind this agreement is to create a good environment for the peace negotiations. And as for the framework agreement, it is a political agreement and it includes guidelines on how to reach peace. It also includes general principles and other issues which are to be debated. We think we can now sit with the African mediators as well as the Qatari ones and then come up with a date to start the negotiations to talk about some of the main issues such as the power and wealth sharing and also security conditions along with the other issues which we consider to be important for solving the Darfur crisis.

Speaking to SRS on Thursday from Doha, the Chief JEM negotiator in Doha, Ahmed Tugud, said that JEM will not accept the deal between the LJM and government because JEM signed a similar document with the government.

[Ahmed Tugud]: “Because we think any attempt to divide people and to enable others who are not on the battlefield to sign a framework agreement and participate in the negotiation process will break down the negotiation process. It will endanger the unity of the Darfur people and they will lose rights that may come with any agreement that is the reason behind our stand to reject the agreement. There is no point in signing a framework agreement other than the framework agreement that was originally signed, and this agreement discusses the same issues signed by the Justice and Equality Movement, for that reason we are against that position and we express our complete rejection of it. The movement is evaluating the situation from different aspects and studying the choices and the movement’s position regarding the peace process.”

In response, Taj Al-Din Basher Niam of the LJM termed JEM’s threat to withdraw from the talks as political suicide.

[Taj Al-Din Basher Niam]: “Nobody can approve the withdrawal of JEM from the peace negotiations just because another movement signed a peace agreement with the government. If JEM did that it will be a bad political move and it will send a bad image to the Darfurians and the Sudanese. Anyway, we hope that they don’t do that but they are free and have the choice to decide, just like they in the beginning decided to go by themselves to sign an agreement and conduct negotiations alone with the government. We don’t have any problem, if they want to join us they can and if they don’t want to they can leave but our hope is that we all come together because no movement or even two movements will be able to bring peace, it will only come when everybody participates.”

Taj Al-Din Basher Niam was speaking to SRS from Doha.
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ULJM Darfur Coalition Forms Executive Body
From SRS - Sudan Radio Service 3 February 2010:
3 February 2010 - (Darfur)– The recently-formed coalition of Darfur anti-government groups, the United Liberation and Justice Movement, announced the formation of its executive body in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday.

The group is to be headed by Doctor El-Tigani El-Sissi, with Abdel Aziz Abu Namousha as vice-chairman.

Abdel Aziz Abu Namousha spoke to SRS from Doha on Tuesday.

[Abdel Aziz Abu Namousha]: “We think unity is the first step towards resolving the Darfur issue because the stance of separate movements greatly affects our people. An agreement was reached that the group should be lead by Dr. El-Tigani El-Sissi with two deputies Abdel Aziz Abu Namousha and Haider Qalokuma Atim. We formed a presidential council, now consisting of six people, but it’s open to others who might join later and increase the council’s number.”

Abdel Aziz went on to express his disappointment that JEM signed a ceasefire agreement with the Government of National Unity but refuse to include other Darfur movements in the peace deal.

[Abdel Aziz Abu Namousha]: “I think unity can’t be achieved unless some people abandon their positions. And since these brothers in LJM have committed themselves to the principles of abandoning their political quest, I think real unity that will lead to peace will be achieved. Unity that will be able to deliver all the rights to Darfurians. But the unity of the movement is not enough. To achieve the rights of Darfurians, we need all Darfurians to come together in order to recover the power from the central government.”

The United Liberation and Justice Movement is composed of ten Darfur anti-government factions and is expected to sign a framework agreement with the government before entering into negotiations.
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North Darfur state

Photo: Sudanese policemen stand guard as thousands gather at a rally attended by President Omar al-Beshir in El-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, on February 2010. The United States said Friday the Sudanese government's ceasefire with another rebel movement is "a very important step" toward establishing peace in the western Darfur region. (AFP/File/Ashraf Shazly Fri Mar 19 2010)

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