Sudanese government and second Darfur rebel group sign deal
The Sudanese government and a Darfur rebel group, the Liberation and Justice Movement, signed a framework peace agreement on Thursday. This comes as negotiations between the Justice and Equality Movement (Jem) and Khartoum faltered after Monday’s deadline for agreement expired. Ghazi Salahuddin, an advisor to President Omar al-Beshir, and El-Tijani El-Sissi, the LJM leader, signed the framework agreement in Doha.
“We reiterate the commitment of the government of Sudan to press ahead with talks following this framework agreement,” said Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Taha, who attended the signing.
But a Monday deadline for a final agreement with Jem, a much more important group, has passed, although a framework agreement was signed in February.
Jem dismissed the deal with the LJM, saying it had no military force on the ground. But Jem says it will not walk out of the Doha talks.
“The ceasefire is meaningless. It is a ceasefire without any fire,” Al-Tahir al-Feki, a senior Jem official, told the Reuters news agency.
“We will not leave Doha,” he added. “We will see how it goes.”
Jem insists that any other rebel groups negotiate under its umbrella, rather than directly with the Sudanese government.
On Wednesday Sudanese authorities rearrested 15 Jem members after originally granting them an amnesty.
The Sudan Liberation Army, the other key group in Daarfur, have so far refused to negotiate with the government.