The 4th General Congress of the Justice & Equality Movement (JEM)
By Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman
JEM had successfully held its 4th General Congress during the period of 18th to 22nd October 2007 in
JEM Military Liberated Territories
with the slogan (The Sunshine of Our struggle Glows so Brightly with continuity and Endurance). It was in an outright defiance of the Government of Sudan (GOS).
The conference was unprecedented and had taken people by surprise as more than five thousand six hundred people, including seven hundred women, attended it.
The convening of the Fourth Conference in the Liberated Areas was considered as a qualitative shift in the course of the Justice & Equality Movement.
The attendees of the conference represented all segments of Sudanese society. They came from all regions of
, including the national capital
The heavy presence of the representatives of the internally displaced people (IDP) and refugee camps of neighboring countries as well as representatives of Darfurians in Diaspora was noteworthy. Among those who attended were representatives of the Sectors of JEM from all the States of Darfur and Kordofan Regions.
It was truly flabbergast to all
that delegates representing the Arab tribes such as Mseiria, Mahameed, Awlad Zaid and many more attended the Congress. The latter fact was believed as a major change in the course of the revolution of the marginalized people in
Whilst the Congress in progress,
JEM forces in Kordofan successfully attacked the Defra oil field in the region of Kordofan, and had taken five hostages among them two foreign hostages, a Canadian and an Iraqi. The Defra oil field in Kordofan region is run by The Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC) consortium.
's CNPC <0135.HK> has the biggest stake in the group, alongside
's ONGC <ONGC.BO>,
's Petronas <PETR.KL> and Sudanese state-owned Sudapet
The proceedings included the
display of military capabilities during a parade
that marked the inauguration of the Congress. The military parade
was a show of force aimed at
the military junta in
. It included more than four hundred military vehicles mounted with
numerous weapons of different types including anti-aircraft and other advanced hardware. It is notable that almost all of these arms originate in
and reached the Movement through the route of the Sudanese army.
This was followed by other events such as military and popular marches and tribal dances
tribal music, drums and singing.
Army vehicle drivers saluted as they passed the podium where the JEM Chairman Dr. Khalil, senior members of the Movement and the Commanders stood viewing the enthused parade.
Speaking at that huge gathering of the membership of the Movement, Dr. Khalil
greeted the struggles and sacrifices of the citizens of marginalised areas of the
. Moreover, he paid tribute and
asked Almighty God mercy for the souls of the martyrs of the revolution of the marginalized people of the
He equally promised the gathering and all the marginalized Sudanese the restoration of their rights and ultimate victory
over the ruling National Islamic Front/National Congress Party (NCP). The
Congress also saluted the innocent civilians who were subjected to oppression and remained steadfast in the IDPs and refugee quasi-concentration Camps. Furthermore, the General Congress extended special thanks to those in the prisons, detention centres and ghost houses of the infamous Salah Gosh. The Congress did so out of appreciation and gratitude for their resilience in bearing the pains and trauma of physical and psychological torture. The combatants and the Commanders of the Movement were saluted
for their bravery and endurance in confronting and defeating the GoS Armed Forces backed by its notorious militias in all the major battles fought.
After these greetings the Congress commenced its working sessions. These began with the adoption of its agenda and the reading of numerous telephone calls of compliments and support from political personalities and parties, national organisations, leaders, cadres, and supporters of the Movement from within the country and abroad.
The report of the overall performance of the Movement since the last General Congress was presented. The Congress availed the platform for delegates representing the different sectors to present their views and plans for the future.
most striking feature of this Congress was the
exceptionally high representation of women
despite the apparent risks and the remoteness of the location of the event. To the credit of the participant women, they were not there only to actively take part in the proceedings of the Congress, but they were there also to cook and feed the delegates from the food of their own contribution.
The large attendance of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Refugees and their active participation in the discussion of the topics presented at the conference was a matter of admiration and praise
In a bid for Wildlife conservation
and promotion of environmental protection from degradation, The Congress took a bold decision to ban any unauthorized hunting or destruction of wildlife as well as criminalization of all acts that enhance desertification or deforestation
It is incredibly impressive that a revolutionary movement such as JEM pays great attention to environmental issues whist it is in dire need to feed itself. to direct its members not to subject
other large terrestrial birds, namely
which are mainly associated with dry open country t
o unjust hunting or cutting of trees or causing arson
is a decision for which JEM is to be commended internationally.
Although the Government of Sudan (GoS) prevented the press and satellite channel reporters from attending the event, it did not dare to abort it. That might be attributed to the weakness of the means it used to abort the Congress or that it failed to identify the site or might have learned lessons the hard way from their previous blunders.
Resolutions and Recommendations of the Congress:
The JEM General Congress rejected the unilateral Ceasefire declaration by
and considered it a
political rhetoric devoid of credibility. The Justice and Equality Movement will only sign a ceasefire agreement based on a clear Framework that guarantees its sustainability.
JEM General Congress decided to boycott Sirte talks set to commence on
October 27, 2007
after consultations with SLM-Unity faction and indicated that it would not negotiate with multiple factions that have limited or no public support in
. Furthermore, Dr. Khalil, the Chairman of JEM, stated that the AU-UN mediation team had no clear vision on how to push forward the political process.
The conference called for the activation of the Penal Code and Law that regulates the armed forces of the Justice and Equality Movement and move forward to bringing them into force immediately.
not to allow any other party to use the banner
“Justice and Equality Movement”
as its name in the
; those who breech that will become legitimate targets for JEM forces and there is no excuse for those who have been warned
The legislative Council of the Justice and Equality Movement had completed its membership and successfully selected its Speaker and Rapporteur
The Congress restored confidence in the President of the Justice and Equality Movement, Dr. Khalil Ibrahim Mohamed
and highly commended his relentless efforts in preserving the unity of the Movement and leading it to its noble objectives.
The delegates of the Fourth General Congress reiterated the following statement in respect to
Darfur Peace Negotiations:
We will not get into any negotiations not limited to the only three parties, namely the government of
Sudan, the Justice and Equality Movement and the
Sudan Liberation Movement/ Army.
The Fourth General Congress called for the activation of the Secretariats of Information and Social Affairs at the current stage, especially in light of the expansion of the membership of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and its expansion to all parts of
The conferees hailed and stressed the importance of the presence of women in the leadership of the Movement and the Sudanese society in general and appreciated their effective role in the struggle with endurance for the cause of the people of Sudan in Darfur despite their unbearable suffering and hardships in the internally displaced and refugee camps for over four years
The Congress ratified, with pleasure and joy,
Shahama Movement of Kordofan with JEM into one organization which is JEM
The Congress acknowledged with deep admiration and gratitude the efforts of all those who contributed to the success of the Fourth Congress of the Movement with special regards to the inhabitants of Liberated Territories of Darfur
The Conferees emphasizes that the individuals who committed
war crimes and crimes against humanity in
should be brought into justice and tried in the International Criminal Court (ICC) at
. They stated that there should be no blanket pardon for the abhorrent atrocities committed against the people of
Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is the Deputy Chairman of the General Congress for Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). He can be reached at [email protected]