JEM asks AU to support 'comprehensive solution for Sudan'

July 22, 2013 (Radio Dabanga)

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has urged the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) to support a comprehensive solution for the crisis in Sudan, and not to back partial peace agreements with the Khartoum government.

In a statement issued on 19 July, the African body extended the mandate of the Unamid joint peacekeeping mission in Darfur for another year. It called on the international community to keep supporting the ongoing efforts to achieve peace in the region, citing the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) upon which the mandate of Unamid rests.

Sudan Tribune reports that the Council acknowledged that "the Darfur crisis is a manifestation of broader political and social problems facing Sudan as a whole", but stressed that people in Darfur cannot wait any longer "for a comprehensive resolution of the conflict". It further added that there is a constitutional review process that can tackle such challenges.

JEM peace secretary and chief negotiator since 2004, Ahmed Tugud, released a statement on Sunday calling on the PSC to "reconsider its isolated position" and to move towards supporting a comprehensive solution, which has become "a sweeping trend that would be hard to resist".

Tugud suggested that "the PSC is in serious contradiction with itself because it acknowledges that Darfur conflict is an expression of the Sudanese crisis and at the same time continues to support partial solutions.

"How can the Council still call for partial solution at a time when the international community is firmly convinced about the futility of partial solutions?"

The rebel chief negotiator said such a position raises doubts about the neutrality of the Council and its seriousness in the search for a real solution to Sudan's crisis.

The alliance of rebel groups including JEM, two factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and SPLM-North sought since last year to convince the international community to support their demand for a comprehensive solution leading to establish a new democratic regime in Sudan with greater autonomy to the different regions.

American and Canadian diplomats seem to be supporting such an approach, according to Minni Minawi, leader of one of the SLM factions, but the two countries have not yet openly supported this approach with concrete proposals.

In a statement condemning the killing of seven peacekeepers on 13 July, the Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said: "This incident underscores the failure of partial peace agreements in Sudan, and the need for comprehensive solutions to Sudan's conflicts."

The former US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, has mentioned several times the need for a comprehensive solution to the Sudanese problems without giving further details.

Tugud asserts that the position of AU PSC may hamper calls for this holistic approach which includes the opposition parties together with rebels and Sudan's ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

Tugud said the Sudanese people will not listen to the position of the PSC because the "totalitarian regime" in Khartoum is not ready to achieve democratic transition, and the people are resolved to change it by all means.

In its original statement, the AU PSC demanded "the non-signatory movements join the peace process without any further delay and preconditions in the interest of the population of Darfur".


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