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Sudan: SLM Warns US Envoy Not to Visit Darfur Areas Under Its Control | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Sudan Liberation Army Movement [SLM] led by Abdul-Wahid Nur who resides in France has warned US Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration not to visit the areas in Darfur that are under its control and where he is expected to hold a conference in the “Darbat” area in Murrah Mountain on 20 October. The movement called on Washington to change its envoy or stop him interfering in the movement’s affairs. The new Justice and Equality Movement [JEM] led by Dr. Khalil Ibrahim has meanwhile denounced the international conference held in the Russian capital Moscow which was attended by the special US, Russian, Chinese, EU, and British envoys to Sudan in addition to a Sudanese Government delegation led by Ghazi Salah al-Din, Al-Bashir’s adviser and official in charge of the Darfur dossier.

SLM Spokesman Nimr Muhammad Abdul-Rahman told Asharq al-Awsat that US Envoy Scott Gration is interfering in the movement’s internal affairs and trying to draw up its policies. He said Gration’s actions under the cloak of uniting a liberation movement “are a new division of the liberation movement and a real contribution to the regime in Khartoum by splitting the rebels.” He added: “We warn Gration not to visit the Darbat area or any other one that is under our movement’s control. We will not let him enter our liberated territories and hold such meeting. We will not let him visit our areas for any reason. Even if the visit is an ordinary one it is still rejected.” He pointed out that Gration intends to visit the areas which are under his movement’s control to hold a meeting on 20 October for the purpose of uniting the SLM factions.

Abdul-Rahman went on to say that Gration is talking about uniting the SLM but his movement does not know what kind of movements the US envoy is talking about and added: “We refuse to cooperate with Gration because he has said repeatedly on several occasions that he is working to remove Abdul-Wahid Nur from the leadership of the SLM he had founded.” He called on the US administration to review the mission of its Envoy Gration and stop him interfering in his movement’s affairs or searching for an alternative to him [Nur]. He said the people of Darfur are now calling the factions which met with Gration in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa last August (the Gration faction) and added: “Gration has become the leader of one of the Darfur factions and the one who will negotiate with Khartoum.” He disclosed that there are new understandings between his movement and the JEM under Khalil Ibrahim and said coordination between them “at the military and field levels is excellent. We are expecting relations to develop toward the better in the coming stage to the advantage of the people of Darfur.”

On the other hand, JEM Spokesman Ahmad Hussein Adam denied in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat his movement’s compliance with the recommendations of the international conference held in Moscow and said: “We have no connection with this conference and are not bound by its resolutions because we were not a party to it.” He pointed out that the Sudanese Government was the only one of the parties involved in the Darfur conflict which took part in the conference, adding that Khartoum used it as a public relations platform and for disseminating political propaganda. He said: “If this conference was clearly serious, then all the parties to the conflict would have been invited to it and not just one party. What happened in Moscow cannot be right. We refuse to have our fate decided in far away places without our presence because an honest mediation should keep the same distance from the parties to the conflict and deal with them on equal footing.