Khartoum, Asharq Al-Awsat — The Justice and Equality Movement [JEM] in Darfur led by Dr. Khalil Ibrahim has presented to the Sudanese Government its vision for resolving the province’s problem. However, the insurgent group denied that it was “cooking” a deal with Khartoum behind the backs of the people of Darfur, while underlining its willingness to achieve a comprehensive and just peace in the province.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Bin-Abdullah Al Mahmoud, the Qatari minister of state for foreign affairs, expressed his optimism about achieving peace in Darfur while sources disclosed to Asharq Al-Awsat that there were hidden disagreements between Tripoli and Washington over the means of uniting the Darfur movements and factions under one banner in preparation for launching the peace negotiations.
Ahmad Hussein Adam, JEM’s official spokesman, told Asharq Al-Awsat that a meeting was held between his movement’s leader Dr. Khalil Ibrahim and Dr. Ghazi Salahaldin, the Sudanese president’s adviser in charge of the Darfur dossier, in the Chadian capital N’djamena. This was the first meeting between the two officials since Ghazi Salahaldin was put in charge of the Darfur dossier and it was coordinated with Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki and Jibril Basoli, the joint envoy for peace in Darfur. Adam said the movement leader gave a general explanation of how to solve the roots of the problem and added: “We are looking for peace and want to know how the government thinks in the peace process.” He added: “Nothing new resulted from this meeting. We handed Ghazi our vision for solving the crisis and he promised to consult with his leadership in Khartoum and reply to us through mediators. But no date was set for this.” He pointed out that the movement had already presented and explained its vision to many parties and forums and stressed that there were no discussions between the two sides.
The JEM spokesman denied that the meeting was an attempt by his movement to “cook” a joint deal with Khartoum for a bilateral solution and said: “We do not stand for the government’s deals or operate under the table. Our cause is clear and the government knows this. We have nothing to hide and we are now talking about what went on at the meeting.” He said that the paper presented by his movement includes a solution for the roots of the problem, which are the humanitarian situation, the return of the refugees and displaced and compensating them, the vision of their future, and the powers, revolution, and security arrangements dossier. He added that it was too early to know whether the government welcomes the meeting or not.
On the other hand, informed sources in Khartoum have disclosed to Asharq Al-Awsat that there are hidden disagreements between Libya and the US administration over how to unify the Darfur movements under one banner in preparation for embarking on peace negotiations between the government and armed movements. They cited as evidence the meeting of leaders of Darfur movements in the Chadian capital which the US envoy to Sudan sponsored for the purpose of uniting them at the same time that Libya was hosting leaders from the same movements in the Libyan city of Al-Kufrah for the same purpose. They denied that there was any coordination between the two sides with regard to the meetings to unite the movements and said: “Every side believes that what is doing is the basis for solving the problem.”