Darfur rebel leader pledges ceasefire

El Fasher- Sudan (PANA) -- Darfur’s main rebel leader Khalil Ibrahim has pledged to end hostilities in the region, and sign the cessation of hostilities agreemen t with the Sudanese government after nearly six years of fighting in the western r egion.
Ibrahim, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) leader, whose faction has resis ted all efforts aimed at ending the fighting in the region, said his fighters wo u ld protect the civilians in Darfur while he was willing to further discuss mecha n isms aimed at improving relations.
The pledges were made on Wednesday during talks with the African Union/United Na tions Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Joint Representative, Rodolphe Adada, and the D a rfur rebel chief, who has remained elusive in all negotiations for peace.
JEM declined to sign the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), negotiated and signed in 2006 in Abuja, Nigeria, aimed at ending the fighting in Darfur, which started in 2003.
Expressing his readiness to sign the agreement, Ibrahim pledged his full coopera tion with UNAMID and said his fighters would contribute to the improvement of th e humanitarian situation and protection of civilians until a comprehensive peace a greement was reached.
Adada commended JEM’s position, describing the movement as one of the major play ers in resolving the Darfur conflict.
UNAMID officials and the Darfur rebel leaders agreed on a mechanism to improve c ommunication and contacts between UNAMID and JEM, a statement by UNAMID said.
The high-level meeting, the second of its kind since the beginning of the curren t year, is part of UNAMID's continued effort to establish a good working relatio n ship with all parties involved in the Darfur conflict, UNAMID said.
“This meeting aims to encourage JEM to privilege negotiations as the only way fo r conflict resolution,” Adada said.
“The problems that Sudan is facing now have no military solution,” he told the J EM leadership and reiterated that all efforts should focus on boosting the negot i ations in Doha.
UNAMID has been monitoring the recent fighting between JEM, the Sudan Armed Forc es (SAF), and the Sudan Liberation Army - Minni Minawi faction (SLA/Minni).
The fighting near the border with Chad saw JEM attack a Sudanese government mili tary base in the region, killing nearly 100 people, including Sudanese military o fficers, in North Darfur.
UNAMID said it played a major role in providing medical care for the wounded com batants from both sides.
Adada further renewed his appeal to JEM and all negotiating parties in Doha to c ommit to a cessation of hostilities as soon as possible, pointing out that UANMI D had already developed a monitoring mechanism to ensure that all parties respect the cessation of hostilities once an agreement was reached.

11 june 2009 18:37:00

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