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Darfur tribal leader demands negotiations with Khartoum - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A peacekeeper of the African Union-United Nations peace keeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) registers local residents visiting its clinic for medical care at the base in Labado village, East Darfur, Sudan (AP Photo/UNAMID, Albert Gonzalez Farran)

A peacekeeper of the African Union-United Nations peace keeping mission in Darfur registers local residents visiting its clinic for medical care at the base in Labado village, East Darfur, Sudan (AP Photo/UNAMID, Albert Gonzalez Farran)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Conflicting reports have emerged about warnings by pro-government Darfur tribal leader Mousa Hilal that “all options are on the table” if his calls for negotiations with Khartoum are ignored.

Hilal reportedly called for talks to discuss the sharing of power and wealth according to population in the region, to be held in a neutral country.

He said if Khartoum really wanted a peaceful solution which addressed the demands of the people of Darfur, such a solution to end the conflict would be possible. He added that “if the government rejected our demands, then all options would be open.” He did not say what those options were.

Hilal added that the issues of the status of the region’s nomadic population, compensation, the return of refugees, reconciliation between warring tribes, and dialogue between the Darfur’s tribes, as well as between Darfur and the rest of Sudan, should also be discussed.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Hilal’s adviser Mohamed Malhi ruled out a rebellion by his leader against the government. He said Hilal was on a tour of Darfur to settle differences between the warring tribes of Zuraiqat and Bani Hussien.

He added that Hilal went to Darfur at the request of Sudan’s president, and that “there is no conflict between Hilal and Khartoum which requires intervention by outside parties.” He did, however, acknowledge that there were differences between Hilal and the leader of northern Darfur, Mohamed Yousef Kabr.

Meanwhile, a leading figure of the National Congress Party, Rabia Abdelati, rejected the imposition of any prior conditions by any party to hold talks with the government. He said “we do not accept the policy of twisting arms and engaging private agendas. The door to dialogue is open to all parties equally.”

In another development, leading figures of the council of Darfur MPs in the parliament and the provincial council were quoted by the Sudan news agency as saying preparations were being made to hold reconciliation talks between warring tribes in the region, in order to end the conflicts which have killed thousands of civilians in the last few months.

Parliamentarians said their step comes ahead of President Omar Al-Bashir’s visit to the region in the next few days.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Yasir Arman, said his party would go to the Addis Ababa talks in order to expose the regime’s failure to find political and peaceful solutions to tensions within the vast country.

He claimed “we have received information [that] members of the international community and the African Union would be calling for a new session of dialogue between the SPLM and the Sudanese government.” He added that the talks would be held according to UN Security Council Resolution 2046, between December 11 and 15.

He added that the priority of the SPLM in any talks was the discussion of humanitarian issues. He said: “The international community and the African Union must realize that the regime will use this dialogue forum to maneuver and as a public relations exercise.”

He added that the Sudanese issue could not be resolved without a comprehensive resolution which leads to comprehensive change in the country’s politics.