Rebel commitment provides new opportunity for revitalized talks

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(Washington, DC) – Two major Darfur rebel factions, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), announced their commitment on Saturday to the Darfur peace talks in Doha. This announcement follows repeated assertions by the Government of Sudan that negotiations should continue in Sudan. Amir Osman, Senior Director for Policy and Government Relations for Genocide Intervention Network / Save Darfur Coalition issued the following statement in response:

“The Doha peace process has been stagnating for months, but this weekend’s commitment by two of Darfur’s major armed movements to negotiate in good faith presents a tremendous opportunity to move toward peace in Darfur. The United States should seize this opportunity and lead the international community in pushing to broaden the participation of rebel groups, ensure robust civil society representation in the process and most importantly, reinvigorate the peace process in Doha or another neutral location.

“If the international community wants to bring a lasting peace to Darfur, there is no alternative to high-level internationally mediated negotiations in a neutral venue.  Just last week, 200 Government of Sudan troops surrounded the exit of a UN-African Union military camp, threatening to burn down the camp and an adjacent refugee camp. This kind of intimidation and the Government of Sudan’s continued actions that violate human rights, obstructs peacekeepers and block humanitarian access – along with abuses against civilians committed by rebel groups – has created an environment where many civil society and rebel representatives feel they cannot participate freely and safely in negotiations in Sudan.”

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The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network merged on November 1, 2010 to create a more powerful voice dedicated to preventing and stopping large-scale, deliberate atrocities against civilians. The organization remains committed to its work to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan as well as to end violence in other areas of mass atrocities such as Congo and Burma.  The merger creates the world’s largest anti-genocide organization, with a membership base of hundreds of thousands of committed activists globally, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights partner organizations, and a network of institutional investors with over $700 billion in assets under management.

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