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Sudanese FM, Deng Alor Talks to Asharq Al-Awsat - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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[Asharq Al-Awsat] What distinguishes the People of Sudan initiative from the Arab, African, and UN initiatives?

[Alor] What is new in this initiative is that it takes everybody to a direct and serious dialogue about the clauses of the initiative itself, which have been already announced by President Al-Bashir. Within the framework of the initiative, various commissions will be set up, that will take a few days to formulate final views, proposals and recommendations which, among other things, will show good intentions to the peace process. The Sudanese initiative is aimed at laying a basis for dialogue, which can be used by the Arab, African, and UN initiatives. We can say that it completes all the other initiatives.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] At the end of this conference, how big may participants’ expectations be?

[Alor] It suffices to mention the weight carried by participants in this conference. They represent various parties from the national unity government and from the opposition. They all, including the Popular Movement, want to come out with a single idea and with a solution acceptable to all the people of Sudan. Action will then start to sell the idea and to persuade the Darfur movements to join peace.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Are you expecting to see an international arrest warrant issued for the arrest of President Al-Bashir in the next three months?

[Alor] If the Darfur problem is solved in the coming stage, in a way that is acceptable to all the sides of the population of Darfur, it would have a positive impact on the International Court of Justice.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] You have had a dialogue with America, France, and other western governments. What are the results?

[Alor] All their interest was focused on the need for a solution to the Darfur problem.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] What would you say to their support for the rebel movements?

[Alor] The American, French and other western governments would put pressure on the rebel movements to disband, if there was a clear-cut initiative, an initiative by the Sudanese national unity government. They would then put pressure on Abdul-Wahid Nur, the leader of the Masah faction, and others.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] What are the criteria of a clear-cut initiative?

[Alor] A serious approach to a solution.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Do you think that the People of Sudan conference will prove to be a step forward?

[Alor] I hope that there will be a motivation for a solution because this would take the initiative from theory to practice.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Do you expect that the People of Sudan initiative will succeed at a time when most political parties are boycotting it?

[Alor] Most parties have not boycotted the initiative but some opposition parties have said that they do not accept it. The reason is simple: The initiative did not offer a clear vision, and now contacts are being made with all factions.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Abdul-Wahid Nur is not convinced of the initiative and is trying to topple the government?

[Alor] All the objectives of the opposition are to topple the government. When I was in the opposition, in the Popular Movement, my objective was to topple the government but now my aim is to persuade the opposition.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Does the South have a specific approach to tackling the current crisis?

[Alor] The Popular Movement has a commission that is active in Darfur, and it will be part of the greater national commission.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Do you believe that the Qatar-led Arab-African initiative in Doha can bring a solution?

[Alor] There are several initiatives. There is the UN initiative, under the sponsorship of Burkina-Faso Foreign Minister Djibril Bassolé, and there is the Qatari Arab initiative. There is going to be coordination of action between these initiatives, none of which will be independent from others. The People of Sudan Initiative will be the basis and from there we will work with the UN initiative and with the Arab-African initiative.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] What are the elements of the UN initiative?

[Alor] Djibril Bassolé is holding contacts with the rebel movements to persuade them of peace in Darfur but there is no specific idea put forward. There are simply efforts to invigorate the peace process and to find a solution. Bassolé has not yet mentioned any results of his moves.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] What do you think of the lack of response by the rebel movements to any initiative, despite all these efforts and initiatives? Why are these movements rejecting all initiatives?

[Alor] The government’s vision of a solution was not clear. I mean if there was a single vision that was acceptable to all the Sudanese (government and opposition) then it would have a positive impact on the factions in Darfur.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] What about the arms shipments that arrive in Darfur from Ethiopia? What is the objective behind this activity? Does it reinforce the idea of a breakaway South?

[Alor] This question ought to be posed to those who raise this subject, but I want to clarify that the arms that have come on board a Ukrainian ship do not concern the movement. As for the arms that have arrived on board an Ethiopian plane in Juba, the Southern Sudan Government has admitted that it had arrived, and said that the arms in question are for use in an Ethiopian small arms exhibition in Juba where they have plants. Besides, the peace agreement signed with the government in 2005 was clear and frank. It gave the right to both the government army and that of Southern Sudan to undertake military exercises and to have arms up to 2011, the date of the referendum on the future of the south.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] What are the Arab efforts to develop the south?

[Alor] Egypt has clear projects in all fields.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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