Sudan: U.S. Special Envoy Meets With Darfur Rebels
Kampala — Ambassador Dean Smith, US special envoy in charge of Darfur, held four separate meetings with different rebel movement groups from Darfur, sources present at the meeting told Radio Dabanga.
The meetings took place in Kampala, Uganda, between Sunday and Monday, 16 and 17 September.
Smith met separately with the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), with Abdel Wahid Mohamed al-Nur, leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), with SLM-Minni Minnawi, and with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).
All four parties described the meetings as constructive and good, a source speaking from Kampala told Radio Dabanga. He added that during the meeting the rebel movements focused on the need to adopt a comprehensive solution to achieve peace in the whole of Sudan. According to the source, the Doha Document was described as “dead” by participants.
In addition, the Sudanese parties described the security and humanitarian situations in Darfur as “critical” and said that immediate intervention by the international community is required.
Abu Al-Qasim Al-Hajj, SRF spokesman, confirmed that various factions from the movement were present in Kampala.
According to Al-Hajj, the factions assured to Ambassador Smith that issues in Sudan are interconnected and cannot be partially solved by separating South Kordofan, Darfur or Blue Nile from each other.
He stressed that a comprehensive solution must take place so that all issues in Sudan can be addressed.
Lastly, Al-Hajj said that comprehensive peace cannot be achieved while the current Sudanese regime is in power.
SLM- Abdel Wahid Mohamed al-Nur
Nimr Muhammad Abdul-Rahman, spokesman of SLM led by Abdel Wahid Mohamed al-Nur, also spoke to Radio Dabanga about the meeting in Kampala with Ambassador Smith.
He said the meeting focused on three main issues:
The dire humanitarian situation faced by displaced persons in Darfur, which he described as “deteriorating and dangerous”
The security situation in Darfur, in which he mentioned the government’s aerial bombings and the indiscriminate killings of civilians carried out by militias, as witnesses recount
Political goals represented in a comprehensive solution for all issues in Sudan, including Darfur
Abdul-Rahman pointed out the displaced from Darfur are facing poverty and starvation after the Sudanese government expelled many organizations working in the region.
The spokesman reported the SLM demanded a strong mandate from UNAMID, so that everyone is protected. He assured the movement will reject any partial solution to the issues of Sudan, explaining peace will be achieved with a comprehensive solution.
Abdul-Rahman added that peace will only be achieved when the current regime in Khartoum is toppled.
Abdullah Mursal, the movement’s spokesman, confirmed to Radio Dabanga that all four parties present in the meetings with Smith demanded a comprehensive peace solution for Sudan. They do not want a partial solution, he stated, using as examples Doha and Addis Ababa, in which Khartoum and the SPLM-N will meet shortly.
The leadership of SLM-Minni Minnawi requested that the current regime in Khartoum does not become involved in finding a peaceful solution to the current conflicts in the country. They added that the regime is part of the problem and not of the solution.
The group told Ambassador Smith that the Doha Document was “born dead” and that it does not solve the problems nor does it meet the demands and aspirations of the people in Darfur, Mursal added.
He also confirmed SLM-Minnawi’s refusal to attend the refugee/IDP conference scheduled for November in Nyala, South Darfur.
During the meeting with Smith, JEM demanded that comprehensive peace negotiations include armed resistance movements and political opposition forces. This way, they said, all issues of Sudan can be addressed, including Darfur.
Mansour Arbab Younis, JEM Secretary for Presidential Affairs, told Radio Dabanga they expressed to Ambassador Smith many points of their interest during the meeting. These points include the provision of protection to displaced persons and citizens in Darfur, given the dire humanitarian and security situations in the area, Younis explained.
JEM called upon the international community to disarm pro-government militias and give Darfur the attention it requires.
Younis told Radio Dabanga the movement managed to clearly explain its visions to Ambassador Smith during the meeting.
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