Home > SUD > Sudan JEM rebel leader Khalil Ibrahim: Doha talks are over

Sudan JEM rebel leader Khalil Ibrahim: Doha talks are over

June 19, 2010

The following comment is from Sudan’s Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

Khalil Ibrahim:  Doha talks are over
Source:  JEM
June 18, 2010  9:51 pm

The leader of the Sudanese rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) declared that his movement will never participate in the Doha peace process. In an interview with Radio Dabanga today, Khalil Ibrahim also expressed indifference at the possibility of a rival rebel coalition signing a peace treaty with the Sudanese government.

The JEM chairman declared that “Doha is over,” rejecting overtures by Chad and the United States to join the negotiations in Qatar, the Gulf emirate hosting the talks. Last Friday the rebel chief met separately in Tripoli with both Chadian President Idriss Déby and U.S. Special Envoy Scott Gration. The rebel JEM, which was previously supplied and sheltered by the government of Chad, was evicted from its bases in Chad earlier this year and moved its forces into Darfur.

Ibrahim said that if other rebels – namely the Liberation and Justice Movement of Tigani Sese – want to make a deal with the government, then let them do so, but it will not bring any peace for Darfur. He said that the ‘real’ movements – JEM and the Sudan Liberation Movement faction of Abdel Wahid Al Nur – are not participating at Doha. He mentioned that these movements were the ones that started the war in the first place.

As to the military situation, Ibrahim commented that JEM are in a good position and he appealed to Arab tribes not to fight JEM “because we are all Darfurians.” He mentioned some members of JEM who are considered of Arab origin, including military spokesman Ali Al Wafi, a member of the Rizeigat tribe. Referring to alleged efforts by the Sudanese intelligence services to coerce or incentivize Arab tribes to fight the rebel forces, he quoted an election slogan of politician Sadig Al Mahdi, “Eat the meat of the ox but vote your candidate,” to suggest that the Arab tribesmen should accept the bribes of the ruling party – gifts of weapons – but not use them against JEM.

The JEM chairman further claimed that a new forum for peace negotiations will be established in the near future. He said that the new host would be an African country. However, a coalition of rebel factions under the leadership of Tigani Sese remains engaged at the talks, which resumed this month following a long hiatus for Sudan’s nationwide elections. Civil society groups also appear increasingly involved, with plans for a consultation of hundreds of representatives in Doha in early July. Currently the chief mediator of the talks, U.N. envoy Djibril Bassolé, is in New York for today’s consultations of the U.N. Security Council on the situation in Sudan. Bassolé met with Ibrahim earlier last week.

Since leaving Doha last month, Khalil Ibrahim has attempted unsuccessfully to rejoin his forces in the field. The government of Chad blocked him from traveling to Darfur and he remains in Libya. JEM meanwhile fought several large engagements against the Sudanese armed forces. According to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur, 440 fighters died during the month of May in clashes between rebel movements and the government.

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