Sudan Signs Peace Deal With Darfur Rebel Faction, Excluding Biggest Group
The Sudanese government and a rebel faction from Darfur signed a peace agreement that didn’t include the biggest insurgent movement from the western region.
The agreement between President Umar al-Bashir’s government and the Liberation and Justice Movement was signed today in Doha, Qatar, in a ceremony broadcast by Sudan TV. The biggest rebel faction in Darfur, the Justice and Equality Movement, refused to sign the accord.
Al-Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for responsibility for genocide and war crimes in Darfur. He denies the charges.
“This deal will not bring a final lasting peace in Darfur, because it is not inclusive,” Fouad Hikmat, the special adviser on Sudan at the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, said today by phone from Khartoum, Sudan’s capital. “The government will view those who didn’t sign as spoilers, this means the government’s military solution will continue.”
Insurgents in Darfur took up arms in 2003, accusing the government of neglecting the region. The conflict has led to the deaths of as many as 300,000 people, mainly due to illness and starvation, and forced about 2.7 million to flee their homes, according to United Nations estimates. The Sudanese government has put the death toll at about 10,000.
“This peace agreement today doesn’t deal with the real grievances of Darfur’s population, doesn’t offer solutions for the region’s problems and it gives a green light to al-Bashir’s government to commit more war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur,” Gibreel Adam Bilal, JEM’s spokesman, said today by phone from Doha.
The accord doesn’t resolve how displaced populations will be able to return to their homes or how they will be compensated, Bilal said. It also doesn’t provide details on how wealth and power will be shared in the country or provide guarantees of people’s rights and freedoms.
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