May 1, 2006
Time’s Almost Up in Sudan
Uh-oh…doesn’t look good. Doesn’t look like the rebel factions are going to agree on a peace deal by Tuesday’s deadline.
According to a Reuters article, the government of Sudan accepted an 85-page draft designed to end fighting that has makes tens-of-thousands of lives. However, the holdouts are the three main rebel factions in Darfur. They’re unhappy with the proposals on security, power-sharing and wealth-sharing. If pictures tell a thousand words….we can figure out exactly what went on in the meetings…
Here’s Minni Arcua Minnawi (L), leader of a Sudan Liberation Army faction (SLA) and Ibrahim Khalil, leader of the Sudanese Justice and Equity Movement (JEM) at the peace negotiation meeting with Sudan government representatives. This isn’t good. They look they’ve been listening to the school teacher from the Peanuts all afternoon.
I was really surprised to see this photo. A bit taken aback, I wasn’t sure what to make of it…okay, at first I wasn’t sure they were women. Righteous Muslim sisters. Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) commanders Mariam Abdallah (L) and Roda Mohamed Ahmed were also at the peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria. They look tougher than their male counterparts. It’s obvious the talks aren’t going well…. Mariam looks really pissed. That is one angry woman who doesn’t like her time wasted. I can tell who wears the pants in her relationships.
Ibrahim Abdalla Mohamed, Saeed Mahmoud Madibo, Mostafa Omer Ahmed, Ahmed Alsamani and Mohamed Adam Rijal (l-r) patiently wait to participate in a meeting with rebel groups. It’s hard to tell from this angle, but they’re watching the CNN feed of George Clooney at yesterday’s Darfur rally in Washington, DC.
These are some of the sticking points to reaching an agreement in Darfur:
- The rebels want Darfur, currently made up of three states, to be declared it’s own region with a new tier of government between the three states and Sudan’s central government. Government thinks this should be decided by a popular referendum.
- The rebels want a new post of Sudanese vice president to be created that would always be held by a Darfurian. Government says this would damage a balance of power with the South and Darfur is part of the North.
- The rebels want individual compensation for the victims of war in Darfur. Government says compensation will be part of a reconstruction package.
- The rebels want the Janjaweed, tribal militias used by the government to crush their rebellion, completely disarmed as a pre-condition for a return to normalcy in Darfur. Government wants the mechanisms for verifying Janjaweed disarmament to reflect its concern.
Sonuds like government doesn’t want to make any concessions. I hope for the sake of the civilians that all sides can work with the African Union and make preliminary agreements.