Friday, April 24, 2009

JEM threatens to overthrow Sudan's Government of National Unity - Five Darfur rebel delegations arrive in Qatar

From Sudan Radio Service 24 April 2009 - (Darfur):
The Darfur anti-government Justice and Equality Movement has threatened to overthrow the Government of National Unity.

Responding to the death sentence verdicts issued against 71 JEM members by GONU, a senior JEM official, Ahmed Mohamed Togud, told Sudan Radio Service on Thursday from an unidentified location in Darfur, that trying their detainees in Khartoum, was a violation of the international treaties, since they are prisoners of war.

Ahmed said that GONU has violated all the provisions of the goodwill agreement they signed in Doha last February.

[Ahmed Togud]: ”The death sentences, which have been issued by the regime's courts, are oppressive decisions which do not follow the international treaties. It is an attempt to pressurize JEM to surrender, because the government has no other way to pressurize JEM except by these dramatic trials. So the only choice remaining for us is to overthrow this government by force.”

Ahmed, who is also the head of the JEM negotiation team in Qatar, said that JEM will not be involved in any further peace talks with GONU.

[Ahmed Togud]: “It is not true that we are going to negotiate with the government in Doha, JEM has suspended the talks. According to the agreement, GONU was supposed to release prisoners of war, hostages, and political detainees. Now the government is trying the prisoners of war, which is a clear violation to the goodwill agreement. That reflects that GONU is not serious about realizing peace by negotiations.”

The goodwill agreement signed between JEM and GONU in Doha stipulates that prisoners of war and political detainees from both sides should be released. It also states that GONU should facilitate the work of aid organizations to deliver food and humanitarian assistance to IDPs in Darfur.
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From Sudan Tribune Friday 24 April 2009:
Five Darfur rebel delegations arrive in Qatar
April 23, 2009 (DOHA) —Delegations from five rebel groups arrived at the Arab Gulf state of Qatar to discuss joining a stalled peace process that started last month with Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

The Qatari based Al-Raya newspaper said the group will hold consultations with officials in Doha and Joint UN-AU mediator to reach common grounds on the Darfur peace process.

The rebels that flew to Qatar signed an agreement last month in Libya to take part in the Doha peace process with one delegation.

The signatories of the common ground deal are: the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) – Unity, SLM led by Khamis Abdullah Abakr, the United Resistance Front (URF), the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Idriss Azrag faction, and the SLM- Juba faction.

The SLM Unity leading figure Sayed Sharif Jar El-Nabi told the newspaper that they are seeking clarifications from Qatari officials about the negotiations and outstanding issues in Darfur and the quest for solving the conflict “in its entirety”.

“The next stage is one of solution, peace and dialogue” he said.

However the SLM-Unity official stressed that they will not join the talks until aid groups expelled by Khartoum last month are allowed to return.

Darfur JEM suspended its participation in the Doha peace process, one month after signing a goodwill agreement with the Sudanese government in the Qatari capital in retaliation to the ejection of relief groups.

Sudan accused the groups of collaborating with the International Criminal Court (ICC) which has issued an arrest warrant for president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.

Qatar pushed JEM to drop the link between the Sudan’s decision and resumption of peace talks.

Jar El-Nabi dismissed JEM talk about certain groups that should be allowed to take part in negotiations based on their size on the ground.

“JEM does not have the real criteria to know who is bigger and smaller and we are talking about a cause here not who is big and small…..JEM’s position is unacceptable” he added.

Last year Darfur JEM staged a bold attack and fought fierce battles with the Sudanese army on the outskirts of the capital before they were repulsed.

However in February both JEM and Khartoum signed a goodwill agreement in the Qatari capital, pledging to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the six-year conflict in the western Sudan region of Darfur but a date for the full blown talks has not been fixed yet. (ST)

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