Doha, Qatar, 8 September 2015
I am pleased to send greetings to this Tenth Meeting of the Implementation Follow-up Commission (IFC). I thank the Government of Qatar as well as the members of the IFC for supporting the peace process in Darfur.
The parties have made progress towards the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), including the appointment of members from the recently established National Liberation and Justice Party (NLJP) and the Liberation and Justice Party (LJP) to the position of Federal Minister and State Minister, and the completion of the first phase of the Darfur Internal Dialogue and Consultation.
It is important to never lose sight of the main goal of your efforts: a peaceful, stable and prosperous Darfur where the dignity and human rights of all are respected. As DDPD signatories and partners within the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), I encourage you to remain united in the implementation of the Doha Document for benefit of the people of Darfur.
There are many challenges. The pressing need to end the suffering of the Darfuri people and give them tangible hope for a better life should spur the parties, supported by the international community, to overcome them.
The full and timely implementation of the provisions of the DDPD remains key to ensuring that internally displaced persons return to their places of origin voluntarily and in dignity, in accordance with international humanitarian law. Important steps have been taken in this regard, including addressing final security arrangements through the demobilization of former combatants of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM-Sudan). Numerous infrastructure projects for roads, airports and electricity have been implemented throughout Darfur by the Darfur Regional Development Fund.
However, addressing the root causes of the conflict remains a major challenge. I am encouraged by the progress made in the implementation of the Darfur Internal Dialogue and Consultation, particularly the completion of the first phase of the Dialogue. The second phase of is now underway. I call upon all major stakeholders, donors and institutions to urgently support the Dialogue through the provision of resources to fund its second phase and to ensure the successful completion of this important aspect of the Doha process.
In the face of great challenges in Darfur, today’s meeting should serve as an opportunity to discuss critical outstanding issues, including creating a stable and secure environment in all areas of Darfur, facilitating the voluntary returns of IDPs, and increasing reconstruction and development efforts in all five Darfur states.
I encourage the parties to engage with IFC members on how to strengthen the core institutions of the Doha Document, such as the Darfur Land Commission, the Special Court for Darfur and the National Human Rights Commission. The incorporation of the Doha Document into the National Constitution in January and the extension of the DRA’s mandate for one year by Presidential Decree in July have provided the signatories with additional time to achieve the DDPD’s aims.
To meet the high expectations of the people of Darfur, the Doha Document signatories and the international community must show full commitment. I urge the parties to listen to the people of Darfur and accept their proposed suggestions for resolving the conflict.
I am heartened by the renewed commitment and willingness to engage in resumed peace talks demonstrated by the by the leaders of the Sudan Liberation Army, Mr. Abdul Wahid, Sudan Liberation Army, Mr. Minni Minawi, and Justice and Equality Movement, Mr. Gibril Ibrahim, at the meetings in Paris in mid-August.
I also note President Al Bashir’s statement that the Government is ready to observe a two-month ceasefire to create the necessary confidence for stakeholders to join the National Dialogue process. He has also stated his readiness to grant amnesty to armed movement members to enable them to participate in the National Dialogue.
I urge the armed movements to continue to demonstrate the flexibility and goodwill they have shown in recent meetings with the AU High-level Implementation Panel and the AU Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa as they engage in a search for a lasting solution.
I call on the Government of Sudan to embrace the current opportunity and continue to take concrete steps to ensure that the National Dialogue is credible, genuine and open to the full participation of all Sudanese in the transformation of the country.
It is my sincere hope that the armed movements and the Government of Sudan will take note of the strong guidance provided by the AUPSC in its Communiqué of 25 August. I urge them, with the support of the High-level Implementation Panel, to fulfill their commitment to establish a conducive environment for the National Dialogue and end the conflicts in Sudan.
All must now seize the opportunity to achieve cessation of hostilities agreements in Darfur and the Two Areas as the basis for a transparent and all-inclusive National Dialogue that would pave the way for sustainable peace, stability and development in Darfur and across Sudan.
Toward that end, I wish you great success.