The expanded conference of Darfur stakeholders opened at Doha’s Ritz Carlton Hotel yesterday evening, in the presence of representatives of a large number of Darfur civil society members, Sudanese politicians, international partners and representatives from the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the African Union (AU).
Addressing the opening session, HE the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin
Abdullah al-Mahmoud conveyed the greetings and best wishes of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani who, he said, had been following very carefully the march of the peace process and the requirements of peace in Darfur.
Al-Mahmoud reviewed the stages of Darfur negotiations he had begun along with the UN-AU joint mediator Djibril Bassole through the Doha Forum, within the framework of the Arab-African Ministerial Committee. This is also authorised by the United Nations and the African Union to resolve the Darfur issue, under the understanding that “war does not serve the interest of Sudan and that a negotiated solution remains to be the only option available for the settlement of the conflict.”
He pointed out that in the context of achieving this he and the joint mediator began efforts agreeing first that the negotiating platform should be a comprehensive one that did not exclude anyone .
“We had exerted all possible efforts and contacted all in the movement, without exception, with some of them responding to the call, some promised (to respond) and some had their own excuses, but contacts are still continuing,” he said. Al-Mahmoud stressed the need for the contribution of all stakeholders in the peace process, including the displaced and refugees and all civil society and nomadic segments , as well as all political parties and government officials, each according to his ability and vision.
To achieve this several conferences had been held in Doha, al-Mahmoud added.
The Minister stressed that the division among brethren in the Darfur movement had significantly hindered the progress toward a peaceful solution.
“Although we have succeeded in co-operation with our regional and international partners in uniting some of the movements, unfortunately there are still challenges,” he said.
“We in the mediation (team), after consultations with our regional and international partners, see the need to prepare a comprehensive peace document to serve as a framework for resolving the Darfur issue.”
The document will be based on the outcome of a series of negotiations and talks between the parties, as well as our consultations held in Doha, Darfur and with other partners, he underlined.
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