Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The Darfur Peace Process a Hollow Exercise

The destructive armed conflict in Darfur continues unabated despite regional and international
efforts to put an end to it. At present, there is no negotiated political resolution of the conflict in
sight. This happens despite the political negotiations for a peaceful settlement of the conflict
under the banner of the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on Darfur, which are currently taking place
in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. For the third consecutive month, representatives of the
government of Sudan and the main Darfur insurgent groups i.e. the Sudan Liberation
Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), are meeting at the
seventh round of talks to reach a negotiated political agreement that puts an end to the armed
conflict in the region. The ongoing process is substantially flawed and fruitless. The previous six
rounds of political negotiations that started in Addis Ababa in July 2004 under the auspices of the
African Union (AU) have made very limited progress on some minor issues. The adoption of the
Declaration of Principles on the Resolution of the Sudanese Conflict in Darfur in July 2005 is yet
to be followed by a real break-through in its implementation. By all accounts, the progress made
at the negotiations is marginal and disproportionate with the extent and magnitude of the
humanitarian crisis in the region and its devastating effects on millions of civilians who are being
held hostage by political bargaining.
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