Joint press Release by the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement and Sudan Liberation Movement/Army
On: The Current State of Peace Talks in Abuja, Nigeria
For Sudanese citizens everywhere, and for the indefatigable people of Darfur;
No doubt you are all following very closely the pressing historical trajectory the Abuja Peace Process has been passing through. The talks have been driven to a cul-de-sac, due to an unfortunate offer, by the African Union, of a peace project that fails, signally, to satisfy the vital interests of our people, or to conform to the basic principles that guided our struggle. In the course of this bold and noble struggle, millions of our people have been displaced, thousands slaughtered and martyred and chaste ladies viciously raped.
On addressing all of you today, fully aware of the just cause for which we have fought, we again underscore our pledge and covenant and stand by our principles. Our awareness of the historical responsibility and morality make it incumbent upon us to avail to you, without equivocation, the following facts pertaining to the Abuja Peace Process:
 Our unreserved appreciation of all efforts on the part of the international community and the Mediation that led to the brokering and supporting of the peace process, with a view to ending the tragedy of our people in Darfur.
 We express our dismay and disappointment at the peace proposal that only meets the interests of a single party to the conflict (that of the Government) – indeed the way this single party welcomed the peace project is very dubious.
 The peace project is conspicuously unfair. It would shatter hopes and aspirations of the people of Darfur for reaching comprehensive and immediate peace that ends their suffering, humanitarian crisis and historical marginalisation.
 The project is void of any virtual rights and basic demands of Darfurians which we sum up on the following:
i) Compensations and Reconstruction.
ii) Disarmament of the Janjaweed and the dismantling of its military machine.
iii) Preservation by the two Movements of their forces and armament and reintegration of these forces into the National Army and other Disciplined Forces.
iv) The Region and its historical borders.
v) Rule of Darfur by Darfurians – the peace project offered by the AU maintains the National Congress Party’s domination and control of power, thereby giving it free hand to exercise all forms of untowardly conduct toward the public (this cannot possibly be tolerated any more).
vi) Post of Vice-President (the peace project never cared about the proportional dimensions of injustice visited upon our Darfurians, nor the sacrifices they offered, nor the fact that Darfurians make up the majority of the population in Sudan).
vii) Representation of Darfurians in the Executive and Legislative organs in accordance with criteria agreed upon by the Government, which include population size, positive discrimination and similar historical precedents.
viii) Participation in the administration of the National Capital, Khartoum, of whose population Darfurians make up about %40.
ix) Criteria agreed upon in the Declaration of Principles (DOP) Agreement were entirely ignored. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement was also used as a pretext to render its replication in Darfur exceedingly impossible.
 The Project dishonours commitments and proposals offered by the AU Mediation and accepted by the Government. This is clear testimony of the inherent confusion, inefficiency and contradictions that marred the Mediation.
 The Project is devoid of the prime issues cited as part of the Power-sharing, Wealth-sharing and Security Arrangements agenda. By way of an example:
- Guarantees for Implementation
- Implementation Mechanisms
- General Provisions
- Time-frame for Implementation
Can such Project be judged fit for a lasting and comprehensive peace that the Parties would immediately agree upon within a very limited period of time?
 Imposition of a hitherto de facto state whereupon the AU has fixed a time that was never realistic or reasonable for studying the Project, given that the translated (Arabic) version was made available only one day before the deadline stipulated by the Mediation.
 Time itself was never the root-cause of the problem. The matter was rather one of Will and Political decision on the part of the Government delegation who have everything, while we do not have anything.
 It is imperative for the International Community to intervene and pressurize the Government and thereby salvage the Peace Process. This would also help in the production of an Agreement that is just and would satisfy the legitimate demands of the people of Darfur.
 The African Union is in real test now, as to whether it could come up with a sound Crisis Management Initiative that is likely to redress its shortcomings and weaknesses that have beset it since it took over this remit. The AU need to come up with a well balanced and fair Project that meets the demands of Darfurians (the weakest Part) and restores what they have lost.
 The AU offered, only three months ago, a much better Project than the present one, notwithstanding our reservations towards certain aspects of the former. What really are the reasons for such sudden change of mind and attitude?
We have reached a reasoned position that is governed by a will for peace as a strategic option. Furthermore, we are always ready to respond positively to any Peace Project that is just and meets the legitimate demands of our people.
Seif Eldin Salih Haroun Ahmed Hussain Adam
Head of Communications Commission Spokesperson for Sudanese Justice
Spokesperson for SLA/M Delegation and Equality Movement