Political, popular circles in Darfur optimistic about next round of peace talks

20:48, January 20, 2010      

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A few days ahead of a new round of peace negotiations between the Sudanese government and the Darfur rebel movements, the political and popular circles expressed on Wednesday their optimism that a tangible success would be achieved.

They assumed that there were many facts indicating that the coming round of talks would be different from the previous ones, therefore they strongly believed that a breakthrough could be made to reach a peaceful settlement for the conflict, which has been going on since 2003.

"We, at all levels in Darfur, look at the next round of peace negotiations as the last opportunity to resolve this crisis." al- Sadiq Abbas Dawal-Bait, executive director of the Civil Administration Office in North Darfur, told Xinhua.

"There are many facts indicating that the coming peace talks would achieve positive results. The security situation in Darfur is stable and calm, not to mention the fact that the international community is backing the efforts of the peaceful settlement," he said.

Siddiq Abdul-Rasul Bassi, commissioner of al-Siraif locality in North Darfur state, said there were several factors that could help making the coming negotiations successful.

"Among these factors was the announcement by six of the Darfur rebel factions of their unification into one political body. This is important because it would accelerate the negotiations and consequently help reaching a peaceful settlement for the crisis," he said.

Leaders of the six factions reiterated in a statement their adherence to the political, military and social unity in Darfur and Sudan in general, affirming that political negotiation was the most viable and strategic option to reach a just and lasting peace in the region.

Bassi went on saying that another important and optimistic factor was the positive development in the Sudanese-Chadian relations, "it is well known that some Darfur movements are associated with Chad, and therefore the understanding between the two countries would likely to push those movements to join the negotiations."

In the meantime, al-Hady Yousif Rabeh, a popular leader in Koma area in North Darfur, called on Darfur armed movements to embark on a serious dialogue with the government to reach a peaceful settlement to the conflict.

"The coming round of peace talks should be final. A lasting settlement must be reached. We are tired of the war and we want a lasting solution to this crisis. The Darfur people are calling for a comprehensive peace," he said.

Meanwhile, the joint African Union-United Nations chief mediator Djibril Bassole recently said in a statement that the peace negotiations between the Sudanese government and the Darfur armed movements would be resumed in Doha on time.

He expressed his hope that Abdul Wahid Mohammed Nour, leader of the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) would join the negotiations.

However, the SLM said in a statement that it would not participate in the Doha negotiations unless security was achieved in Darfur and the internally displaced persons returned to their home villages.

Jibril Ibrahim, a leader in the Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), said in a statement that he did not expect the Doha negotiations to begin as scheduled, saying that "the arrangements for the negotiations can not help to hold them on time."

Qatar's capital city of Doha is expected to host a new round of peace talks between the Sudanese government and the Darfur armed movements on Jan. 24 to find a peaceful settlement for the Darfur conflict which has continued since 2003.

Source: Xinhua
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