Darfur rebels pressured to disarm amid fresh violence

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - A ceasefire monitoring panel set up under the Doha peace accord has decried the lack of meaningful progress in disarming the Sudanese rebel groups that signed up to the deal.

The Joint Commission set up under the peace accord expressed regret, in a communique Tuesday, that the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), one of the main rebel groups that  signed the accord, has failed to voluntarily disarm, resulting in a stalemate.

The Commission, chaired by the African Union-UN Hybrid Mission Darfur (UNAMID) Acting Chief Mediator Aichatou Mindaoudou, said an earlier verification mission failed to ascertain the extent of the group's disarmament because the verification team could not access certain areas of their deployment.

The UNAMID official set a 15 November deadline for the Darfur rebel group to disarm, disband and allow some of its selected members to join the National army, as required under the Doha accord.

"No progress has been made towards the implementation of the provisions related to non-military logistical support to the movements; limited arms control; as well as the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of former combatants into the Sudanese Armed Forces and Police Forces," the UNAMID chief said.

She also expressed concern over the continuing violence in Northern Darfur, saying: "We are witnessing an increasing number of security related incidents in North Darfur, including armed clashes between members of different communities with high civilian casualties."

Mindaoudou said the "alarming development" calls for urgent and speedy implementation of the Doha plan. 

Sudan's western region of Darfur has been volatile for the last nine years when rebels took up arms against the central government in Khartoum. The government responded by arming militias on horseback, known as the Janjaweed, to battle the rebels.
-0- PANA AO/SEG 16Oct2012

16 october 2012 11:11:04

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