On Friday, leaders of the Sudan Liberation Movement faction of Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) met with a delegation from the Sudanese government in the German capital, in the presence of representatives of the US government.
The German government invited the parties for informal consultations in an attempt to revive the peace negotiations between the Darfur armed movements and Khartoum. The talks, under the auspices of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), collapsed in August last year, as the government insisted on the 2011 Doha Document for Peace in Darfur as the basis for the talks, while the rebel movements have categorically rejected this agreement signed by Khartoum and a coalition of Darfur breakaway groups.
The rebel movements are also dissatisfied with the role of the AUHIP. JEM recently called for the replacement of the of the AU mechanism.
The third holdout Darfur rebel group, the mainstream SLM led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW), declined the invitation, sticking to its position that any negotiation with the government must be preceded by security in the region, the disarmament of the militias, and compensation to the displaced people.
In a brief statement after the meeting, JEM spokesman Ahmed Nugud Lisan, and SLM-MM spokesman Ali Trajo reported that they presented a joint paper “containing a proposal to push forward the peace process, which was accepted by the facilitators as a working paper”.
The delegation for the Government of Sudan (GoS), headed by Dr Amin Hassan Omar, Presidential Envoy for Negotiation and Diplomatic Communication on the Darfur File, also issued a press statement.
“The German side has offered a solution for achieving peace in Darfur region, along with another proposal presented by the two armed movements,” Omar stated.
“Despite the controversy in few points, we as GoS feel optimistic that we can reach an acceptable final agreement, with the valuable aid of the government of Germany.”
The presidential envoy further stated that the German government “has promised to continue bridging the gap between the rivals until reaching a reasonable agreement, to revitalise the negotiations, and to reach a political resolution.
“We express our utmost support and appreciation for any contributors and facilitators such as Qatar, Germany, AUHIP, and Unamid, who help in reviving the negotiations and bringing total peace and security back to Darfur region in Sudan, bearing in mind that the improvement of the situation which was achieved on the ground in the last two years was approved by the last UN Security Council report on 4th April 2017.”