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(JEM) has not intended to keep the Fellow Combatants out of the Darfur Peace Process By Mahmoud A. Suleiman
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Mar 8, 2010 - 3:46:21 PM

 

 (JEM) has not intended to keep the Fellow Combatants out of the Darfur Peace Process

By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

 

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has called on the other Darfuri movement groups for an integrated unification to confront the National Congress Party (NCP) government in Sudan which is renowned for its lack of commitment and breach of the covenants that it signs with the parties. The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) confirmed that it is not an exclusionary movement; in that it is very keen to see other comrades to join in, (all) the groups, who have vested interest in the cause of the people of Sudan in Darfur and Kordofan, to the negotiating process as one body and is ready to make concessions (to the other movements) for Unity. JEM believes that unity is more important rather than just desirable given the fact that the National congress party (NCP) Government of Sudan (GOS) is a serial violator of peace agreements and a persistent flouter of the rule of law and can not be trusted, unless there is an integrated unity of the Darfurian factions under one umbrella on one side of the negotiating table facing the only one opponent, the NCP. The Justice and Equality Movement stressed the fact that previous attempts and efforts of coordination between the movements had completely failed to restore the rights of the people of Sudan in Darfur and even led to further fragmentation among the Darfur rebels and the result was further suffering of the displaced and the refugee people of Darfur and those in the Diaspora.

It is unfortunate that the horrors of war in Darfur are now looming ominously amidst the dwindling aspirations of peace and the antipathy between the fellow combatants in the seven-year struggle of the people of Sudan in Darfur and in Kordofan regions. All this is attributable to and as a result of the intransigence of the Government of Sudan to allow the Sudanese citizens in the region of Darfur to restore their rights. Other contributing factors include the lack of uniformity of the visions of the Darfurian rebel faction groups in the face of the seven-year struggle which claimed the loss of more the three hundred thousands of innocent lives along with the daily suffering and humiliation of millions of citizens. Based on those atrocious acts committed, in July 2008, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, accused al-Bashir of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. The court issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on 4 March 2009 on counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him for genocide. The NCP president, the retired Army Marshal, Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir who allegedly "masterminded and implemented" a plan to get rid of three ethnic groups of Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa in a campaign of murder, rape and forced relocation, now is running for further term of Sudanese presidency in the upcoming April 2010 elections stipulated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that was signed between Sudan Peoples Liberation Army/ Movement (SPLA/M) in Naivasha, Nigeria,   in 2005.

In . the Doha negotiations Forum, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) signed, with commitment, the «framework agreement», with the Sudanese government, under which cease-fire and cessation of hostilities in Darfur will be implemented. This is aimed to reach a comprehensive resolution to the issue of Darfur conflict without fragmentation.

Political analysts believe that the motives of the NCP behind the signing of a Framework Agreement for ceasefire and cessation of hostilities between it and the Justice and Equality Movement was tactical gesture intended to make Darfur temporarily no-war zone during the elections to enable the indicted al-Bashir to win the presidency as a de facto candidate! Some observers say in a muted tone that the results of the so-called National General Elections are obvious fete accompli and 'the deed is done', given the lack of equal opportunities for the other candidates in the media and the existence of laws restricting the fundamental freedoms and, as well as on the availability of the people's money to the ruling regime.

JEM has reiterated that it is neither exclusionary nor aiming to debar fellow combatant compatriots from being included in the peace process but it is opposed to the Government of Sudan’s plan to negotiate concurrently with various other Darfuri faction groups in a parallel fashion at the same time when it is also negotiating with JEM in the Doha Forum. JEM has serious concern about this happening which would result to eventual chaos at the negotiating table . Moreover, during that expected confusing situation it will be impossible to figure out who would be eligible to the ownership of the thing being negotiated . It is also worth noting that negotiations usually take place between warring parties. The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) are seeking to make the Doha platform a success because the Sudanese people’s feelings of expectation of hope for peace are dependent on this forum. JEM called for other factions to unify the ranks and that its hands are stretched out to those brothers to engage in consultations and dialogues with the view to integrative unification for the sake of restoring the legitimate rights and the removal of chronic injustice for the people of Sudan in the Darfur region.

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has declared its readiness to provide what it can offer (of concessions) to bring others to the noble cause of unity to achieve the goals of the revolution in order to restore the rights of marginalized people of Sudan in Darfur and Kordofan.

In June 2008, I wrote an article under the title “Debunking the myth around Turabi-Khalil relationship that the Justice and Equality Movement as a military arm of Dr. Hassan al-Turabi, in the Sudan Tribune, to expose the falsehood of that belief which was promoted and marketed by the National Congress Party government for propaganda against its arch rival amongst the Sudanese opposition. My article generated four Forum Messages the main theme was that “ If JEM is serious about peace talks why it is not uniting with the SLM\A and other rebel factions in Darfur so that they can negotiate as one region of Darfur? My response at the time and today is that JEM is ready and wholehearted for an integrated unification and there is room for everyone and there is an ample space in the arena of the New Justice and Equality Movement (NJEM) to encompass all. The term NEW JEM was dubbed by the US envoy to Sudan General Scott Gration, when he visited the Movement at the time when more than twenty rebel movement factions, most of them used to be part and parcel of the former SLM\A.

JEM has no problem if the GOS chose to strike peace deals with whomever at any time provided that takes place anywhere else other than the Doha platform. To make a bad situation worse, unfortunately, we have been plagued by the negative interventions of some of the players from the neighboring countries and some associates of the international community who have put their own political interests above the tireless efforts to resolve the issue the people of Sudan in the Darfur region. These elements have subjected Darfur to remain a war-zone and held it hostage to their own ambitions regardless of the suffering that the people in Darfur have been experiencing day in and day out in the makeshift camps where their children were chronically deprived of basic education, the sick were denied health care and the hungry is not provided food while unemployment remains the norm. It is high time and enough is enough to move forward to achieve the long waited just peace through serious negotiations, if the Khartoum regime is willing, to put an end to    the ongoing war once and for all.

One would like to ask the Darfuri movement factions whether they have learnt the lessons and absorbed the dire consequences of their splintering that resulted into the prolongation of war, chronic suffering of their people, enabled the enemy to eliminate the green and dry and dominate over the fate of the people of Sudan in Darfur? One would have hoped that has happened. Nevertheless, this Sixty Four Dollar Question ($64) awaits the answer from the sons and daughters of Darfur who are gathering in Doha, Qatar!

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]

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