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Chief Mediator asks Darfur non-signatory movements to explore ways forward for the peace process

By United Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, December 10, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The African Union-United Nations Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has strongly urged the Darfur non-signatory movements to explore ways to move the peace process forward, stating that the only way to end the conflict in Darfur is through a peaceful and negotiated settlement.

Addressing delegations of the Sudan Liberation Army / Mini Minawi (SLA/MM) and the Justice and Equality Movement / Gibril Ibrahim (JEM/Gibril) during the opening session of the All Inclusive Peace and Security in Darfur Technical Workshop, which commenced on 9 December in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Dr. Chambas said: “This workshop is an opportunity to come up with a clear roadmap for engagement.”

The workshop, co-organized by the AU-UN Joint Mediation Support Team and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), is designed to discuss issues related to international humanitarian law and human rights. It is scheduled to conclude on 11 December.

The Chair of SLA/MM, Mr. Mini Arko Minawi, explained that his group already signed the Abuja Agreement in 2006 and assured those present of his movement's peaceful intentions. “We came here consciously to sit together and offer our ideas for peace,” Mr. Minawi added.

Speaking on behalf of JEM/ Gibril group, the Chairman of the legislative assembly Dr. Tahir El-Faki, said he regrets that the conflict in Darfur has lasted 10 years. “We want a peaceful and negotiated settlement,” he noted. “We are committed to listening and engaging positively, but not at all costs.” Mr. Gibril Ibrahim arrived in Addis Ababa after the opening ceremony and joined the workshop later in the day.

The opening session of the technical workshop, which started with a minute of silence in respect of the death of former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was attended by Ambassador Sajo Jalow, Current Chairperson of the African Union Peace and Security Council, Ambassador Salomon Abebe, Director of the African Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Ambassador Twolde G. Redda, Director of Peace and Security in IGAD and Ambassador Mahmood Khan from the African Union Commission.