December 6, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The talks for peace in Darfur between the signatories of the pre-negotiations parties will start next month with a cessation of hostilities before to discuss substantive issues.
In line with the pre-negotiation agreement signed in Berlin on Thursday 6 December, the Sudanese government, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement – Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) will hold negotiations on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).
The text of the agreement seen by Sudan Tribune provides that the talks on substantive issues will be preceded by the signing of a Cessation of Hostilities agreement.
“In the course of the Cessation of Hostilities (COH) negotiations, the parties agree to address outstanding issues relevant to the COH,” further read the text.
During Addis Ababa talks, On Darfur talks, the AUHIP said the rebel groups refused “balanced options” the mediation proposed on the location sites of fighters and mechanisms for the monitoring of humanitarian assistance.
However, there is no mention for the humanitarian assistance which was one of the difficult issues that the parties failed to address during the African Union-brokered talks in Addis Ababa in August 2016.
The deal further says the AU-UN Joint Chief Mediator and the host country in addition to the African Union mediation team, will work together to mediate the Darfur peace process with clearly defined and distinct roles and responsibilities for each.
While joint chief mediator and Qatar will mediate talks on the substantive matters, the role of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel is limited to the talks on COH.
Germany, the United States of America, United Kingdom, Norway, France, the European Union, the Arab League, and IGAD will be observers and/or guarantors of the peace process and the deal that would result from it.
Observers point that this is the first time that France and IGAD are involved in the talks on peace in Darfur.
The deal finally provides that the peace talks will include the signatories of the pre-negotiations agreement, however, it does not close the door for the other groups which should be admitted with the consent of the three parties.