[dehai-news] Asharqalawsat.com: Darfur Rebel Leader on Al-Bashir's Possible Arrest

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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Wed Feb 18 2009 - 06:08:54 EST

Darfur Rebel Leader on Al-Bashir's Possible Arrest


By Mustapha Sirri


London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Dr Khalil Ibrahim, leader of Sudan's Justice and
Equality Movement [JEM], has told Asharq Al-Awsat by telephone from the
Qatari capital Doha where he is leading his movement in the negotiations
with the Sudanese government which started before six days that his movement
is close to signing an agreement with Khartoum on demonstrating good
intentions and building trust after which they enter into negotiations over
a framework agreement.

Ibrahim added "we are expecting to sign an agreement on good intentions and
building trust at any moment" and pointed out that his movement has a large
military and political presence in Sudan and is therefore seeking to solve
the country's entire problems instead of fragmenting them. After stressing
that his movement is not seeking to isolate any party in the province in the
search for a final solution to the crisis, he pointed out that all the
Darfur sons, political forces, civil society organizations, and
representatives of the displaced and refugees would be mobilized during the
stage of detailed negotiations of the issues and asserted that he was not
seeking power but seeking to include everyone in the peace and said "we are
seeking to make the ongoing war in Darfur the last one in Sudan."

Ibrahim refused to link the ongoing negotiations with the government in Doha
to the expected warrant from the International Court of Justice [ICJ] to
arrest President Al-Bashir and said "we are not bound by the ICJ decision
against Al-Bashir" but added: "Issuing the warrant might help us reach an
agreement and achieve the democratic change and not the opposite." He
pointed out that the negotiations stage between the two sides is now
focusing on demonstrating good intentions and building trust and they are
proceeding well and noted that the negotiations of a framework agreement
would follow the agreement on building trust which involves the release of
prisoners and detainees, a halt to the air bombardment of civilians, and the
opening of roads for the delivery of relief. He said: "Only after this we
can enter into negotiations about the framework agreement which regulates
the framework of negotiations and details of the issues."

The JEM leader went on to say that the government side is hesitating about
signing the trust building agreement because it involves the exchange of
prisoners between the two sides and added: "The government is hesitant about
signing this agreement because it does not care about its prisoners, among
them senior army officers and thousands of soldiers. It does not wish to
have them back. We want our prisoners held by Khartoum and we can hand over
the prisoners to any mediator, Qatar or anyone else."

Ibrahim disclosed that his movement would keep its representatives in Doha
after the agreement on demonstrating good intentions and building trust so
as to continue the negotiations about the framework agreement and prepare
for it and added that the framework agreement could turn the power and
resources issue into the roadmap in the detailed negotiations which require
collateral technical action by both sides and mediators. He pointed out that
his movement handed its vision of a clear roadmap to the mediators before
three months and added that the government side wants peace without paying
its obligations and believes the JEM is after jobs like some movements and
said: "We are seeking a comprehensive solution and the war in Darfur to be
the last one in Sudan by dealing with the Sudanese provinces' problems under
a real federal system and a democratic change bound by time." He noted that
the transitional period should have a known time period and added that the
presence of the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement as a partner in the
government has been unable to bring about the change towards democracy and
attributed this to the National Congress Party's control of all key
institutions and said "continuing with the National Congress Party's policy
will not help bring about the democratic transformation and change the
governance structure in favor of those marginalized."

The JEM leader stressed the holding of elections under the present
government [as published] and called for a transitional government led by an
independent person and for the parties to be financed by the state' treasury
and said: "The National Congress cannot use the state's funds alone and then
contest the elections. We reject this and will absolutely not allow it." He
pointed out that his movement's demands "are reasonable, to have water, gas,
and electricity enter every house, and his movement has a clear program for
solving Sudan's problems." He added: "We do not call for excluding anyone,
either in Darfur or Sudan, and will mobilize all the movements, civil
society organizations, the women, and the displaced and refugees in the
detailed negotiations of the issues." He noted that negotiations of the
cease-fire and hostilities issues are held between the fighters and not
parties that are not fighting, which was a reference to some armed groups in
the province. After stressing that his movement is seeking peace for all the
Darfur citizens which deals with the displaced and refugees' issue, he said:
"I am optimistic about reaching peace and my optimism is objective because
we have the real desire and political will and we are not that far from
achieving peace if the government side's intentions are sincere." He then
expressed his willingness to continue negotiations with Khartoum while the
war goes on in Darfur and said his movement does not have a problem about
the government continuing its war while we continue to negotiate with it and
the evidence is that it lost its battle with us the day before yesterday.


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