Thursday, April 27, 2006

SLA's President Minni Minnawi takes his time while millions of Darfurians suffer

Sudanese government negotiators are seeking face-to-face talks with rebel leaders from Darfur about a draft peace agreement proposed by African Union mediators as Sunday's deadline for a deal approaches.

While the Darfur peace talks have dragged on in Abuja, Nigeria for two years and the world watches as an African Union Peace and Security Council April 30 deadline for a peace deal looms, violence has escalated to the point that aid workers cannot reach vast areas of Darfur and the AU says all sides are responsible, Reuters reported today - excerpt:
Minni Arcua Minnawi, head of divided Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) rebel group, said he had not yet decided to discuss the draft settlement directly with the government, but he would do so when necessary.

Minnawi and leaders of two other factions said they did not have any plans for meetings with the government on Thursday and they were still studying the draft.

Minnawi declined to give any comment on the proposed agreement, as did leaders of the other faction of the SLA and of the smaller Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

Minnawi's recent return to Abuja after months of absence suggested he too was serious about making progress, but the situation is more confused on the rebel side because of constant infighting between factions.
Full report by Estelle Shirbon (Reuters) April 27, 2006.

SLA President Minni Minnawi in truck

Photo: Darfur rebel group SLA President Minni Minnawi in truck. Click on image for further details. [Sudan Watch archives Jan 20, 2006] See Sudan Tribune SLA's Minnawi threatens to suspend Darfur peace talks Apr 23 2006.

Darfur rebel SLM-JEM announce new alliance

Photo: Darfur rebel group JEM President Khalil Ibrahim. The International Crisis Group has noted that Mr Ibrahim "is a veteran Islamist and former state minister who sided with the breakaway (Popular Congress) in 2002 and went into exile in the Netherlands. There is additionally evidence of some level of involvement of al-Qaeda with the Islamist JEM organisation." Read more in "Darfur rebel SLM-JEM announce new alliance".

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