Thursday, July 13, 2006

SLA's Minnawi nominated as head of Darfur Authority

Going by their recent commentary, some pundits like Flint (July 12, 2006 Where is the African Union in Darfur?) and Reeves (July 11, 2006 Darfur Security in Freefall: Humanitarian Collapse May Occur Any Moment) - who make themselves patently clear they are onside with SLM-Nur and against SLA-Minnawi - seem to see it as wrong that the two main signatories to the Darfur Peace Agreement, namely SLA's Minnawi and the Government of Sudan, are working together to implement the peace deal.

So what? Dissident rebels brainwashing their followers into dismissing ceasefires and peace deals have been given every opportunity to join the peace movement. When and where do you draw the line? Why shouldn't insurgents be treated as outlaws? From what I can gather, outlaws and their supporters (pundits included) have their caps set on pulling down the Darfur Peace Agreement and the fledgling African Union and its mission in Darfur. It seems obvious they and their followers are the ones who want to see the peace deal in tatters and a UN operation in Darfur. I wonder why.

Here is news of Minnawi's nomination as head of Darfur Authority. The pundits don't say where it leaves SLM's Nur. Note also how they don't address such issues (or when it comes to their calls for military intervention, that of the ICC and list of 51 names). Maybe the secret communications rumoured to be taking place between Nur and GoS will result in a position being created for Nur? Clearly it pays to be a rebel. Crime pays. They get away with murder and entry visas into Europe and the USA.

SLM's Minawi nominated for Senior Assistant to the President post AP reported 13 July 2006 (via Sudan Tribune). Excerpt:
Sudan has taken the first toward appointing a Darfur rebel leader as head of the administration that will run the western region once peace has been restored. The Sudan Liberation Army, the only rebel group that signed the Darfur Peace Agreement on May 5, nominated its leader, Minni Minnawi, to the post of senior assistant to Sudan’s president in meeting with a presidential adviser on Tuesday night, state media reported.

Once endorsed by President Omar al-Bashir - considered a formality - the position will make Minnawi the head of what will be the Darfur Authority, the administration that will run Darfur as an autonomous part of Sudan once the terms of the peace accord have been implemented.

"This is a historic day for our country," Samani al-Wasilah, the state minister for foreign affairs, told the official Sudan Media Center after the SLA delegation handed the nomination to presidential adviser Majzoub Khalifa. "Sons of the homeland have come together to cement the pillars of peace and work together to implement the Darfur Peace Accord."

The UN chief envoy to Sudan, Jan Pronk, expressed "concern" Wednesday about the ongoing harassment of civilians and attacks, but he did not blame any specific group.

Pronk told reporters in Khartoum that even the rebels who do not support the May 5 accord - such as a breakaway faction of the SLA and the Justice and Equality Movement - were obliged to observe the cease-fire signed in 2004.

Minnawi himself told reporters in Cairo on Tuesday that the only achievement of the DPA was that the cease-fire was holding in some places.

"(In) some of the area now, there is a cease-fire 100 percent. The government respected the cease-fire and also our troops are respecting the cease-fire," he said.

Speaking before the Tuesday night meeting, Minnawi said he would accept the nomination if it were made, and that he would soon return to Sudan. He did not give a date.

After the president has endorsed Minnawi’s appointment, it will have to be ratified by Sudan’s parliament, but this is considered a mere procedure.

The DPA sought to put a stop to three years of fighting between several rebel groups and pro-government forces that have killed 200,000 people and displaced another 2 million. The agreement is not popular in the refugee camps, where many people have tribal links to the leader of the breakaway SLA faction and argue that the peace terms are inadequate.

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