By Professor David Hoile

Published by The European - Sudanese Public Affairs Council

Chapter 2


There has been a breakdown in negotiations because of unacceptable rebel demands. The talks have been suspended: it’s a failure. Chadian Government Peace Mediator, December 2003 [123] The SLA started this war, and now they and Justice and Equality Movement are doing everything possible to keep it going. American State Department Official, October 2004 [124] The rebels came with preconditions from the start of this meeting, only to scupper any talks. Peace Talks Mediator, January 2005 [125]

The need to find a peaceful solution to the horrendous war in Darfur is painfully self-evident. The peace process that has unfolded over the past two years has, however, been a difficult one. The Government of Sudan has repeatedly declared its commitment to a peaceful solution to the crisis. [126] Most recently, in January 2005, on the eve of signing the historic peace agreement ending Sudan’s north-south conflict, President Bashir reiterated his commitment to attaining a settlement of the war in Darfur. [127] This was echoed by the head of the government’s negotiating team, agriculture minister Dr Majzoub al-Khalifa, who stated that the government would carry on negotiating until there was a final peace deal. [128] The government announced in January that Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, the man who negotiated an end to the longrunning war in the south, would be focusing on the Darfur crisis. [129] Vice-President Taha has stated that the conflict should be easier to resolve than the north-south war. [130] The government has also involved northern opposition parties, including the National Democratic Alliance, in the search for peace. [131] The war was not of Khartoum’s making and it is abundantly clear that the Sudanese government has the most to lose in any continued conflict. Sudan has welcomed the close involvement of both the African Union and Chad as mediators, and has also agreed and urged the deployment of thousands of African Union peace-keeping forces. [132] The African Union has committed itself to attaining peace in Darfur. In January 2005, the chairman of the African Union, Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, stated: “I want to give you one assurance on behalf of Nigeria and the AU. We will not rest until there is peace and perfect peace in Darfur and in the whole of Sudan." [133]

As early as February 2003, the government sought to defuse the conflict through negotiations. [134] Initial attempts to engage in a dialogue with the rebels in North Darfur were said to have had some positive results. A local tribal leader who had been abducted by SLA gunmen had been freed. [135] Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Taha has also had meetings with veteran Darfurian opposition leader Ahmed Ibrahim Diraige with a view to an immediate ceasefire. [136] Vice-President Taha and Mr Diraige agreed that the proper way to settle the conflict is through “dialogue”. [137] The Sudanese interior minister’s commitment to peace talks has been typical: “Whenever (the rebels) are ready to talk, we are ready to talk to them. We have no conditions at all.” [138] It is also clear that the government appears to have had no reservations about negotiating with any rebel organisations, including those movements that have recently been formed. This has included peace talks with a third force calling itself the National Movement for Reform and Development (NMRD). [139] NMRD came into being in April 2004, when a group of rebels, led by Nourene Manawi Bartcham, broke away from JEM because of a disagreement over the influence of the Popular Congress and Dr Turabi over the rebel movement. [140]

In 2003, the Chadian government, parts of which are drawn from the Zaghawa tribe, offered to mediate between the government and rebels. The Sudanese government welcomed and has continued to welcome continuing Chadian mediation in the conflict. [141] The government of Chad was instrumental in negotiating ceasefires in western Sudan in September 2003 and earlier. It has been a challenging task. On 3 September 2003, however, as the result of indirect talks hosted by President Déby, the Sudanese government and rebels signed a six-week ceasefire in Abeche, Chad. On 17 September, the government and the SLA signed an agreement allowing “free and unimpeded” humanitarian access within Darfur. The government and rebels agreed to a tripartite ceasefire monitoring commission made up of five members from both sides and five Chadian military officials. In subsequent Chadianbrokered peace talks, the rebels proved to be intransigent. Chadian Government mediators declared in December 2003, for example, that the rebels had stalled peace talks: “There has been a breakdown in negotiations because of unacceptable rebel demands. The talks have been suspended: it’s a failure.” [142] Chad’s president called rebel terms for substantive negotiations “unacceptable”. [143] In what was seen as a deliberate attempt to derail the peace talks, the SLA demanded military control of the region during a transitional period, 13 percent of all Sudan’s oil earnings and SLA autonomy in administering Darfur. [144] It was claimed that Islamic fundamentalist opponents of the Sudanese government had been instrumental in sabotaging these negotiations. [145] The government named senior Popular Congress members Hassan Ibrahim, Suleiman Jamous, Abubakr Hamid and Ahmed Keir Jebreel as having been responsible. [146] JEM had hitherto displayed a stop-start attitude to joining mediated peace talks. [147] In March 2004, the Government of Sudan reaffirmed its commitment to a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in Darfur through consensus:“ Through political dialogue a final agreement can be reached in the region. [148] Sudan’s deputy foreign minister al-Tigani Salih Fidhail said his government was willing to take part in a conference Chad has reportedly offered to host between Khartoum and the Darfur rebels: “We are ready to negotiate peace with any party but we reject any preconditions.” [149]

The April 2004 Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement on the Darfur Conflict
On 8 April 2004, in Ndjamena, the Government of Sudan and both rebel movements signed a Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement on the Darfur Conflict and a Protocol on the Establishment of Humanitarian Assistance in Darfur. [150] Ahmad Alammi, the spokesman of the Chadian mediation team, noted: “The humanitarian ceasefire was a priority, but at the same time it includes political clauses.” [151] Under the Ceasefire Agreement, the parties agreed, amongst other things, to: cease hostilities and proclaim a cease-fire for a period of 45 days automatically renewable, unless opposed by one of the parties; establish a Joint Commission and a Ceasefire Commission, with the participation of the international community, including the African Union; free all prisoners of war and all other persons detained because of the armed conflict in Darfur; facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the creation of conditions conducive to the delivery of emergency relief to the displaced persons and other civilians victims of war, in accordance with the Protocol on the Establishment of Humanitarian Assistance in Darfur, referred to above. The parties also agreed to: combine their efforts in order to establish a global and definite peace in Darfur; meet at a later stage within the framework of a conference of all the representatives of Darfur to agree on a global and definite settlement of the problems of their region, especially concerning its socio-economic development; contribute to create an environment conducive to negotiation and stop hostile media campaigns.

Sudan welcomed the decision by the African Union to send monitoring teams to follow up implementation of the cease-fire agreement between the government and the armed groups in Darfur. [152] The AU’s commissioner for peace and security, Said Djinnit, said: “Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Namibia have agreed to send military officers to be deployed as observers in Darfur. They will be on the ground as soon as possible.” [153] Almost immediately, SLA spokesmen stated that they would not honour the ceasefire and would not attend peace talks aimed at establishing the envisaged joint ceasefire monitoring commission. On 17 April 2004, however, Reuters reported that they had changed their minds and would go after all: “Rebels from western Sudan said on Friday they would go to peace talks and had not threatened to withdraw from a ceasefire, adding that previous reports to the contrary were incorrect…Earlier on Friday SLM/A spokesman Musa Hamid al-Doa said the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) would not go to the peace talks and would not abide by a ceasefire in effect since Sunday…But Al-Doa later said he had been given misleading information and another spokesman retracted his comments.” Mohammed Mursal, a spokesman for the SLA secretary-general stated: “No officially sanctioned statements were made by the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) to imply that we would not abide by the ceasefire or not go to Addis Ababa or Chad.” Reuters reported that “Analysts say there is infighting in the SLM/A’s leadership with a power struggle between prominent figures in the armed and political wings. Mursal said there would be an internal investigation to establish what had led to the confusion.” [154]

The International Crisis Group documented some of the rebel splits during the April peace talks: “The presence in N’djamena of exiled political activist Sharif Harir as a coordinator for the SLA team was a precursor of some of these internal tensions. He apparently sidelined SLA chairman Abdel Wahid…A similar split occurred in JEM. Hassan Khames Juru, a self-proclaimed political coordinator, announced the dismissal of the JEM president, Khalil Ibrahim, his brother Jibril, the general secretary, Mohamed Bechir Ahmed, and the coordinator, Abubakar Hamid Nour, who had led JEM negotiators at the ceasefire talks. JEM’s military spokesman, Colonel Abdalla Abdel Karim, quickly denounced the statement and said Juru represented only himself.” [155] The International Crisis Group also noted the results of these splits: “ Confusion reigned among the rebels at the political talks in late April [2004], with the two groups eventually repudiating the deal their delegations accepted. The mixed signals are indicative of serious infighting between the military and political wings…The SLA sought to settle some of these differences in prolonged consultations between its chairman, Abdel Wahid Mohamed Nour, and its military coordinator, Minni Arkou Minawi. JEM, reflecting the strong position of its political leader, Khalil Ibrahim, took a different approach, firing dissident commanders and political cadres deemed disloyal.” [156] In April 2004, for example, Khalil Ibrahim dismissed the movement’s second-incommand, Jibril Abdel Karim Bare.

The two rebel groups have rejected government proposals for roundtable conferences on Darfur – despite having agreed on 19 April to attend a peace and development conference in Khartoum for all Darfur leaders, including the rebels, to be chaired by Idriss Déby, the Chadian president. A 130-strong preparatory committee were planning for some 1,700 delegates. The JEM leader stated: “We will not participate in this conference nor do we recognise it.” In late April 2004 the rebels declared once again they would not participate in the ceasefire talks in Addis Ababa or the political negotiations in Ndjamena. Reuters reported that Darfur rebels were unlikely to attend peace talks to end the fighting in Darfur. The SLA had said “it would not attend the political talks due to reconvene on April 24 in Chad, adding it wanted Eritrea to mediate instead of [Chadian] President Idriss Debby [sic].” Reuters noted that “Sudan has poor relations with Eritrea”. Reuters also quoted JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim: “ I don’t think we are going to Chad. The Chadian President should not chair any meeting nor any of his executives.” [157] Even the hitherto rebelfriendly United States warned the rebels against boycotting the talks aimed at creating a commission to monitor the Darfur ceasefire. A State Department spokesperson stated: “The United States expects the parties...to actively engage in the planning and implementation of the ceasefire monitoring team. Failure of any party to fully participate in this crucial part of the ceasefire agreement is a clear statement of bad faith and will affect our relationship with them.” [158]

In late April 2004, al-Haj Atta al-Manan, secretary of the ruling National Congress party in Khartoum State, and a former governor of South Darfur, revealed that he had led a government delegation that held secret discussions with the exiled JEM leadership in Paris in late March. The joint statement that came out of that meeting spoke of a peaceful solution as the preferred way to settle the crisis. [159]

In early May 2004 Chadian peace mediators reported that the government had complained at rebel violations of the ceasefire, citing government claims that “The rebels are looting and threatening civilians”. The complaint also accused rebels of livestock rustling, a particularly provocative action in western Sudan. [160] By late May 2004, the Government stated that there had been 26 rebel violations of the cease-fire in West Darfur alone. On 24 May the governor of South Darfur state said that there had been several rebel attacks on villages and civilians. He cited attacks on Abgaragil village, 50 kilometres south of the state capital of Nyala: “The outlaws attacked this area, looting and burning down the village, and when our forces arrived to the area they were already gone.”

He also said that on 18 May rebels had also attacked Labarwa village, about 60 kilometres (40 miles) northeast of Nyala and kidnapped 28 civilians. He stated that most rebel attacks and violations were along roads from Nyala to other key provincial towns, particularly Dyeing and Buram to the south: “The outlaws in high-speed cars will attack an area, and when we arrive they are gone”. [161] To work out logistical details for the ceasefire monitoring commission, the AU sent a reconnaissance mission to Sudan, including Darfur and Chad, from 7 to 13 May. Representatives from the UN, EU, US and France were on the mission.

On 22 May 2004, the SLA rejected AU proposals to meet with the government and finalise the formation of a ceasefire commission, claiming that Ethiopia was too closely aligned to the Sudanese government. [162] Nevertheless, on 28 May the government and rebels signed an agreement establishing a joint ceasefire commission along with the modalities for international observers. On 4 June 2004, the African Union and other international observers finalised an agreement with the government setting out the terms of the ceasefire observer mission agreed in the April ceasefire protocol. The agreement set out the relationship between Khartoum and the ceasefire committee in Darfur and which gives the observers free entry into Sudan and free movement inside the country. In total, an initial group of 120 observers from the AU, the European Union, the United States, the Sudanese government, the two rebel groups in Darfur and the mediation team from neighbouring Chad was to be deployed in the region. [163] On 9 June 2004, the African Union established a headquarters in al-Fasher from which to monitor the ceasefire, and from which to deploy these military observers. [164]

During a June 2004 summit of nine African presidents and government officials attending a Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa summit in Kampala, the Sudanese president restated his desire to end the conflict in Darfur: “We are committed and determined to resolving the current conflict in Darfur in western Sudan.” [165] Government attempts to reach a peaceful solution included both domestic and international efforts. In mid-June 2004, for example, the government outlined plans for the convening of a National Conference for Development and Peaceful Co-existence in Darfur to be held in Khartoum aimed at addressing issues of concern and reaching a peaceful solution for the Darfur issues. [166] And a week later the government continued with international efforts. Sudanese government peace negotiators left for peace talks with the representatives of Darfur rebels in Berlin. [167] Shortly afterwards peace negotiators led by Sudan’s Deputy Humanitarian Affairs Minister, Mohammed Yusif Abdallah, travelled to France for peace talks with representatives of JEM. [168]

In early July 2004, both the SLA and JEM stated that they would not attend further peace talks in Chad. A SLA leader said: “We do not want Chad to mediate for the political issues because they were not fair in the humanitarian talks.” [169] The president of the African Union, Alpha Oumar Konare, announced that the first round of AU-mediated political negotiations between the warring parties to try to end the crisis were to begin in mid-July in Addis Ababa: “The problem with Darfur is political, its solution is political, hence the necessity for the parties to quickly begin political negotiations... on July 15 in Addis Ababa. We hope that all the parties are properly represented”. [170] The Justice and Equality Movement declared, however, that it would not be joining political negotiations in the Addis Ababa aimed at ending the crisis: “ These negotiations are coming too quickly”. It is worth noting that the United Nations placed on record a renewal of attacks on humanitarian convoys in Darfur by gunmen from this date onwards. [171] The rebels’ commitment in any instance to talks in July was questionable. Al- Jazeera reported: “AU officials who struggled for three days to convene a rebel-government meeting said their task had never looked very promising because Darfur’s top rebel leaders had chosen instead to attend a Sudanese opposition conference held in Eritrea.” [172]

Rebel attacks on humanitarian aid personnel continued. In the first week of July, the SLA attacked 26 aid workers, working for Save the Children UK, delivering emergency assistance in northern Darfur. They also stole six vehicles. On 13 July 2004, the British government urged Sudanese rebels to return the stolen vehicles. [173] Rebels also attacked a relief convoy near Orishi in North Darfur, murdering nine civilians and several policemen. They also attacked another aid convoy north of al- Fasher, killing four truck drivers. Rebels also abducted Abass Daw Albeit, the traditional leader of all the tribes of eastern Darfur. [174]

In early August the African Union announced that the Sudanese government had agreed to increase in peacekeeping forces and monitors in Darfur from 300 to 2,000 soldiers. [175] The second round of African Union-sponsored inter-Sudanese peace talks was held in Abuja, Nigeria, from 23 August to 17 September 2004. The government declared: “Our concern is to find a quick peaceful solution to all the unresolved questions.” [176] The Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, hailed the adoption by both sides of a broad agenda of humanitarian, security and political issues as a “first step in the right direction”. The negotiations were almost immediately deadlocked when the Darfur rebel groups backtracked on the previously agreed agenda. Abd al-Wahid Mohamed al-Nur, leader of the Sudan Liberation Army, stated: “We in the movement reject this agenda completely.” The rebels’ move was described by mediators as a “blow to the African Union”. The leader of the Sudanese government delegation, agriculture minister Majzoub al-Khalifa, reiterated that “We adopted this agenda in front of President Obasanjo and AU and UN representatives this morning, and we are good to our word. We are very keen to continue these negotiations.” The Sudanese government also accused the rebels of several breaches of the existing ceasefire agreement, including an attack in which four Sudanese humanitarian workers and two journalists were kidnapped. The government spokesman Ibrahim Mohammed Ibrahim stated: “Despite all that, we will continue to participate in these negotiations with the same spirit. Hopefully there will be an agreement between us and the rebel groups.” [177] The agenda, made up of the following items - humanitarian issues, security issues, political issues and socio-economic issues - was eventually agreed. On day three of the talks, the Sudanese government agreed to accept a larger African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur if the troops are used to contain and demobilise rebel forces. The African Union had suggested the supervised cantonment of rebel and government forces as a step towards a peaceful solution to the crisis. [178] Rebel leaders subsequently refused to discuss the issue of cantonment. The JEM spokesman stated: “We insist that this point be taken off the agenda.” [179]

Rebel intransigence was being increasingly noted. The New York Times’ Scott Anderson observed: “In recent months, the SLA has repeatedly stalled peace talks being brokered by the African Union by setting unrealistic preconditions or quibbling over such details as where the talks should be held; for its part the Justice and Equality Movement faction had, until recently, boycotted the talks altogether.” Anderson cited an American diplomat: “The first notion anyone’s got to disabuse themselves of is that there are any good guys in this. There aren’t. The S.L.A. started this war, and now they and Justice and Equality Movement are doing everything possible to keep it going.” [180]

American journalist Sam Dealey pointed to possible reasons for apparent rebel indifference to peace talks: “The international community may wish to restrain from setting early deadlines for intervention. Such deadlines only encourage rebel intransigence in pursuing peace deals, as last month’s unsuccessful talks in Ethiopia proved. With outside action threatened, there is little incentive for the rebels to negotiate a lasting cease-fire.” [181] This was a general point also raised by the Sudanese foreign minister during his September 2004 address to the United Nations general assembly. [182] The talks nevertheless ended with the agreeing of a Protocol on the Improvement of the Humanitarian Situation in Darfur which addressed the issue of free movement and access for humanitarian workers and assistance as well as the protection of civilians. Sudan agreed to the deployment of more than three thousand AU peacekeeping troops in Darfur. [183] The parties also agreed the establishment of a Joint Humanitarian Facilitation and Monitoring Unit - based in al-Fasher - to ensure a more effective monitoring of the commitments they had entered into. It was also agreed to request the UN High Commission for Human Rights to expand the number of its human rights monitors in Darfur.

In the lead-up to the next rounds of talks the rebels intensified their attacks in Darfur, attacks which severely impeded the delivery of emergency aid to Darfur. In October 2004, the UN confirmed rebel responsibility for attacks in Darfur, quoting the UN’s Envoy to Sudan:“ Mr Pronk said rebel groups - the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) - were responsible for much of the recent violence, which is restricting humanitarian access to many areas within Darfur, a vast and desolate region in western Sudan.” [184]

The third round of African Union-mediated Darfur peace talks was held in Abuja from 21 October to 9 November 2004. Despite the urgent and immediate ongoing humanitarian crisis, the rebels refused to discuss humanitarian issues. A JEM leader said: “The government is insisting on discussing the humanitarian issue. It only wants to waste time and avoid the real issue on ground.” [185] The rebels also stalled the peace talks because of the African Union’s seating plans, stating they did not wish to sit near the government negotiators. Abubakr Hamid, the coordinator of the joint JEM/SLA team, declared: “We are not going to participate…because they are trying to force us to sit with governmen delegates.” [186] He added: “We’d rather the African Union appoints two separate teams to negotiate with the two groups.” [187]

When the rebels returned to the negotiations, having agreed to sit with the government, they then continued to refuse to sign a humanitarian aid agreement essential for the provision of relief to those affected by the war. A European diplomat said: “We’ve told the rebels that for them to be seen as blocking the signature of the humanitarian protocol is not very good…The rebels should not take the international community for granted. They think they have all the international sympathies, but if they are seen as the ones who are stalling they will have to pay a price.” [188] The second round of AU-sponsored talks had focused on the humanitarian crisis but the rebels refused to sign new humanitarian arrangements. JEM’s Haroun Abdulhameed said that the rebels would focus only on power-sharing: “We are not going to harp on humanitarian issues. There is no need for that…The government in insisting on discussing the humanitarian issue only wants to waste time…” The Sudan Liberation Army spokesman stated: “We must tackle the political issue above everything if we are to make any progress…” [189]

After considerable time invested in mediation, this round of talks resulted in the signing of a Protocol on the Enhancement of the Security Situation in Darfur and the signing of the Protocol on the Improvement of the Humanitarian Situation in Darfur, as discussed and agreed at the previous round of talks on 9 November 2004. The government and rebels agreed to renew a cessation of hostilities and, for the first time, the government agreed to renounce “hostile” military flights over Darfur, except in cases of self-defence. [190] The two sides had also initiated discussion on a draft Declaration of Principles which would constitute the basis for a just, comprehensive and durable settlement of the conflict. [191]

In early November 2004, in an official report, the UN Envoy to Sudan pointed to deliberate attempts by the rebel movement to provoke government responses: “Some commanders provoke their adversaries by stealing, hijacking and killing”. [192] In November, the Sudanese government attacked the United Nations for not highlighting rebel involvement in attacks and human rights abuses, while focusing undue attention on the government. The humanitarian affairs minister, Ibrahim Hamid, said the international community must pressure rebel groups, and not the government alone, to end the Darfur conflict: “The silence of the United Nations and its reluctance to denounce the rebels and exercise pressure on them has encouraged the rebels to go on with their violations and spur insecurity. We believe...the international community should exercise pressure on the rebels instead of seeking to condemn the government over minor issues.” [193]

The SLA’s November 2004 Violation of the Peace Accords
Despite having signed the Abuja ceasefire protocols on 9 November, less than two weeks later the SLA mounted several systematic attacks on police and civilians in Darfur. The African Union noted that “in late November, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) carried out attacks on various places, including Tawila, in North Darfur, Adwah village, in South Darfur, the town of Um-Asal and at Draida. These attacks constitute serious and unacceptable violations of the…N’djamena Agreement and the Abuja Protocols.” [194] The rebels coordinated attacks on, amongst other targets, Tawila in North Darfur and Kalma in South Darfur. On 22 November 2004, some 80-100 rebels attacked the police station on the edge of the Kalma IDP camp in South Darfur. This resulted in the death of four policemen, and the wounding of several others. The WFP confirmed the attack and stated that“ ominously, the attack appeared to have been launched from inside Kalma camp”. [195] The UN Envoy to Sudan said that he condemned “in the strongest terms the killing of policemen and civilians around Kalma camp”. [196] In a separate attack, coordinated to start at the same time as the assault on Kalma, several hundred SLA rebels, travelling in landcruisers and lorries, attacked Tawila, killing a doctor, 22 policemen and several civilians, and by their actions, forcing the evacuation of aid workers from the surrounding refugee camps. [197]

As The New York Times noted, these attacks, and the ones that preceded them, ended the stability, a “respite” that had been achieved in Darfur - especially with regard to the provision of humanitarian assistance to war-affected communities: “But what respite had been achieved over the last several months has steadily unravelled in recent days”. The government noted that the Tawila and Kalma attacks had brought the number of rebel violations since the signing of the Abuja ceasefire protocol to 19: 12 in South Darfur, six in North Darfur and one in West Darfur: “Now the international community has seen for itself. We consider this a very serious escalation and a very alarming index of the rebel attitude.” [198] That the attacks had disrupted a period of relative peace was also confirmed by the African Union’s own ceasefire monitoring commission. In its October 2004 report, for example, the ceasefire commission noted that there was a “relative calm”. [199] The British aid agency Oxfam confirmed that there had been “improving humanitarian access” but that the attacks had reversed any gains that had been made: “Humanitarian access is worse than it was 6 months ago.” [200]

These attacks, and particularly the one on Tawila, were very important for several reasons. It illustrated once and for all the indifference the Darfur rebels displayed to the internationally-mediated peace and ceasefire protocols it had signed only a few days previously. They were designed to provoke a government reaction in the lead-up to several important international meetings on Sudan – at the expense of suffering to hundreds of thousands of the very people the rebels were claiming to be protecting. As much was confirmed by British television news coverage some days after the attack: “What happened here was an act of war. But it was an act of war provoked by the rebels to make the government look bad ahead of this week’s peace talks.” [201] The attacks also showed that the indifference of the rebel movements to the devastating humanitarian consequences of its actions. The attack on Tawila shut down WFP operations in North Darfur: “All WFP staff and many NGOs were withdrawn from the field.” The rebel action resulted in 300,000 IDPs being “cut off from WFP food aid”. [202] It was also significant because it was one of the first occasions when the
international community chose to unambiguously challenge the Darfur

The New York Times described the attack and some of the
At dawn on Monday, according to the United Nations, the rebelSudan Liberation Army, or SLA, attacked a strategic town just westof [al-Fasher], called Tawilah, killing nearly 30 police officers and taking control of the town…Insurgents from a second group, called Justice and Equality Movement, seized another Darfur town, called Gareida, before pulling back. In a refugee camp in South Darfur,rebels struck at a police post in the middle of the night. Rebels battled government troops in Kuma, just north of [al-Fasher], on the edge ofr ebel-held territory last weekend. The human consequences of ther ash of violent actions are getting grimmer. Practically all roads out ofE l-Fashir, the North Darfur state capital, are off limits to aid workers, for security reasons…Mobile clinics that once roamed to rebel-held villages north and south of here are now staying off the road. [203]

International criticism of these attacks was universal, immediate and unambiguous. The UN Envoy to Sudan Jan Pronk stated that the SLA was solely responsible for breaching the ceasefire and restarting the fighting in north Darfur: “This was a unilateral violation of the agreement by SLA, not by the government.” [204] He declared that: “I do really think that the international community should hold them (SLA) accountable for not complying with international agreements and their own promises.” [205] The rebel attacks were also condemned by the American government. The State Department said: “The latest incidents of violence were instigated by the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, and they have resulted in the suspension of humanitarian activities in the areas of fighting.” [206] Chris Mullins, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, noted that: “The recent difficulties have been caused by a series of violations predominately initiated by the rebels.” He cited the finding by the UN Envoy to Sudan that “the rebels have been the principal cause in the last two months of incidents that have caused the breakdown of the ceasefire…”
[207] His views were echoed by the British international development minister, Hilary Benn: “Recent rebel attacks on Tawila and on humanitarian convoys in Darfur, along with the murder of two Save the Children UK staff are particularly horrific.” [208]

Three days after the attack the Sudanese government called for the rebels to honour their commitments and seek a peaceful solution to the crisis. The government also called for the return of the aid workers who had been evacuated as a result of the attacks. [209] In early December 2004, the SLA admitted to kidnappings, attacks on civilians and obstructing aid workers. The organisation promised there would be no more incidents. [210] On 5 December 2004, the Sudanese government released documents which it said showed that the rebels had killed 89 people in more than 300 armed robberies since the April 2004 ceasefire. A Sudanese interior minister stated that the number of armed robberies in Darfur in eight months following the ceasefire was higher than in the previous 15 months. The documents indicated that from 1 January 2003 to April 2004 there were 251 armed robberies in which 80 people had been murdered. From April until the end of November there were 320 armed robberies during which 89 people were killed. [211]

Keeping the Aid Corridors Open
In the 5 December briefing the Sudanese government recorded that rebels had attacked over 200 trucks: “The policy, we understand, is aimed at strangling the main towns in Darfur. The rebels seem to not be keen on committing themselves to the accords they signed. Although we are committed to the letter to the agreements and protocols ... the state could not be expected to tolerate this nonsense.” [212] This point was also restated later in December: “[The rebels] block roads, impede commercial activities, rob people and commit all sorts of crimes. No responsible government can fold its hands when things like these are happening.”[213] This underpins the quandary facing the government. While committing itself to a ceasefire, government forces cannot stand by and let humanitarian and other traffic be attacked on its main roads. Such attacks do indeed strangle the logistics needed to feed the hundreds of thousands of displaced people in camps throughout Darfur. Not to do so would result in deaths and more misery amongst displaced communities. When Khartoum does militarily respond, with or without airpower, it is then accused of violating the ceasefire.

This dilemma was reported upon by the United Nations Secretary General in his report of January 2005. [214] The Secretary-General stated, for example, that the fighting which broke out on 7 December was a result of “government road-clearing operations, which the Government defined as operations aimed at clearing the roads of banditry”. The Secretary-General noted that the government had briefed the United Nations on their intentions and that Khartoum had “specifically stated that it was not intending to attack or occupy SLM/A-held areas during these operations”. The government went on to identify several key aid corridors. The Secretary-General also noted that in its attempts to keep aid corridors open the government had previously offered to place any necessary police forces under African Union command. The UN noted that this offer had been declined at the 24 November 2004 meeting of the Joint Implementation Mechanism. [215] The Secretary-General also noted government concerns about SLA attacks on roads. In addition to obstructing the flow of aid to war-affected communities in Darfur, these attacks “have brought constricting pressure to bear on supply lines, leading to rising commodity prices and insecurity of strategic goods to the population of state capitals”. The Secretary-General himself also noted “SLM/A vehicle and fuel hijacking operations aimed at vital tactical commodities”. He also reported on a “new trend” in the pattern of attacks on, and harassment of, international aid workers: “While previous incidents have only been aimed at looting supplies and goods, December has seen acts of murder and vicious assaults on staff, forcing some agencies to leave Darfur.” [216]

The government position is a clear one. It has called for the complete deployment of all the AU forces envisaged for Darfur: “If the African troops can’t defend the roads and civilians, the government must do that. We can’t leave the rebels to cut the roads that reach (the 5 million civilians in Darfur).” [217]

In early December 2004, nonetheless, Sudan’s Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Mohamed Yusif Abdallah, reaffirmed Khartoum’s desire for a negotiated settlement to the crisis, stating that a settlement for Darfur could be part of a broader constitutional reform also affected other regions: “The southern peace agreement will have a positive impact on Darfur. By induction we expect to sign the agreement in Darfur in the next two months…I hope the situation becomes like the south where the rebels commit themselves seriously to a ceasefire.” [218] The first week of December, however, saw continuing rebel attacks which forced the withdrawal of more aid workers from Darfur. Attacks, for example, on Saraf Ayat in north Darfur, had resulted in Médecins Sans Frontières evacuating its staff and the displacement of 2,000 civilians. Some 4,500 people were affected by this attack and others. [219] In December the SLA, and its obstruction of the peace process, came under close scrutiny by The New York Times. The newspaper reported that: “The SLA has been accused of stalling at the last round of African Union-mediated peace talks in Abuja. Despite promises, it has yet to disclose the location of its fighters, on security grounds. Privately, some aid workers and diplomats accuse the SLA of sowing the seeds of further conflict by acts of provocation.” The New York Times gave an example of such provocation: “For instance, the rebel group has blocked the seasonal migration routes of a large and powerful nomadic Arab tribe just south of [Thabit]. To date, the leaders of the tribe have remained neutral in the Darfur conflict, but blocking the movement of their animals and thus threatening their livelihood and their way of life could be disastrous.” The newspaper quoted a Western diplomat as saying that the rebels were “broadening the conflict base. The SLA knows what they are doing.” [220]

Under pressure from the international community, the rebels came back to the peace table. The fourth round of African Union-mediated Darfur peace talks was held in Abuja from 11 to 21 December. Reuters reported that the government indicated its wish to reach a peace deal in the African Union talks which had recommenced in Abuja. Majzoub al- Khalifa, head of Sudan’s delegation said there was “a lot of common ground for agreement”. He said: “We are very much hoping to come to a final peace agreement in this round” adding that the government would do its best to reach an agreement “before the end of this year so that peace in Sudan will be finalised by January in all parts of Sudan”. JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim dismissed the meeting, declaring “[t]his is not a serious round of talks” and that JEM had lost faith in African Union sponsorship of Darfur peace efforts. [221] News agencies reported in mid- December that the rebels had pulled out of the Abuja peace talks. [222] This also coincided with new rebel attacks aimed at disrupting peace process. The African Union confirmed as much. [223] The African Union’s chief mediator, Sam Ibok, said that all the international representatives at the talks had advised against the walk-out because “there was no justification for such a suspension.” The Sudanese government commented that: “Only negotiation and talks will solve the problem of Darfur. Withdrawal from the talks means more trouble for Darfur.” [224]

The rebels returned to the AU-mediated talks and progress appeared to have been made during these negotiations. The government agreed to withdraw its forces from positions it had moved into following the rebels’ November offensive in Tawila and elsewhere. [225] And while the rebels rejected new proposals for peace [226] , they promised no more attacks and violations of the ceasefire agreements. [227] The SLA and JEM committed themselves “to cease all attacks against humanitarian and commercial activities and to restrain their forces from attacks on government infrastructure, including police posts”. [228]

The rebels broke their word within days with two serious attacks. On 27 December, rebel forces attacked the town of Ghubaysh. The United Nations said that “notably” this was “the second attack by the SLA since 19 December when the Government of Sudan agreed to an immediate cessation of hostilities.” [229] In late December Reuters reported that JEM had refused any continuing African Union mediation in the Darfur conflict, citing a rebel spokesman: “JEM is rejecting the African Union, We are not going to Abuja again under the auspices of the African Union.” [230] This was a particular blow to the peace process as the future rounds of peace talks were to focus on the political solution to the Darfur conflict. The government had already announced a range of proposals focusing on a federal solution to the problem. [231]

The Sudanese government showed its frustration at the unwillingness of the Darfur rebels to seriously commit to the peace talks: “At the last round in Abuja where the vital political issues was to be discussed, [the] government came ready with six ministers. That shows we were here for business. But the rebels had a different agenda. They delegated very junior officers who could not agree on anything. It is no wonder that [they] keep frustrating the talks via incessant walkouts.” [232] In early 2005, the rebels announced that they would be leaving the ceasefire commission in Darfur. Reuters reported that the UN had said“ a rebel threat to withdraw from a cease-fire monitoring commission in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region would spell disaster for the faltering peace process”. A UN spokesperson warned: “Obviously, if the SLA make this threat a matter of fact…that would be a disastrous thing to happen because we do not believe that any of the parties have any interest in destroying the little fragile gains they have (made).” [233] Reuters reported that officials at the January 2005 cease-fire talks“ blamed the rebels for the meeting’s failure”. A peace mediator stated:“ The rebels came with preconditions from the start of this meeting, only to scupper any talks.” [234] The rebels subsequently suspended their participation in the ceasefire committee and rebel attacks continued. [235]

It has also emerged that while promising no new attacks – having clearly been stung by the international community’s criticism following the Tawila and Kalma attacks, the SLA has been using front groups for some of its new attacks. In December 2004, a group styling itself the“ Sudanese National Movement for the Eradication of Marginalisation” (SNMEM) commenced attacks on civilians and policemen. It attacked an oil field at Sharif in Darfur and then a town in western Kordofan, an area neighbouring Darfur, killing 15 people. [236] Reuters reported in early January 2005 that “[the] government and some observers have said the group is a front for…the Sudan Liberation Army”. [237] The government stated: “There is evidence showing the involvement of the Sudan Liberation Movement in the attack”. [238] Reuters cited an international observer as saying: “It seems the SNMEM is the SLM with a different name. They feel that if they use another name, they can act without being bound by the agreements they have signed with the government ”On 13 January 2005, the Sudanese government urged the complete deployment of the African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur. The foreign minister, Dr Mustapha Osman Ismail, stated that less than half of the 3,320 troops committed by the African Union had arrived: “We are still waiting for the African troops.” [239] This echoed his previous call on 1 December 2004 for the African Union to fulfil its commitment to Darfur. [240]

Problems Facing the Peace Process
There are, however, a number of serious problems with regard to the rebel movements and peace in Darfur. Perhaps the first question must be whether or not the rebel movements themselves actually want to end the war they started? This question runs central to the issue of what motivated the conflict in the first place. It is clear that what they claim to have been fighting for is on offer. As the International Crisis Group has quite rightly noted: “Darfur’s problems are negotiable - under the right circumstances - and could fit relatively smoothly into the governance structures being negotiated between the government and the SPLA at Naivasha. In particular, the state autonomy models for the northern states of the Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile could offer the basis for a resolution in Darfur. They provide for a high degree of autonomy for sub-national states and greatly increased provincial control over decisions affecting local administrations, including on education and legal systems, and could offer a template with which to begin discussions on a political settlement for Darfur.” [241] Autonomy has already been put on the table by the Sudanese government. [242] The question is whether or not one or more of the rebel movements have been pursuing a different agenda other than that of “ overcoming” marginalisation through some level of power and wealth sharing. This is of particular concern with regard to the Justice and Equality Movement. Is their war less one against marginalisation and more of an Islamist war by proxy in Darfur with the objective of reinstating Turabi or the Popular Congress in power? If this is the case then they will presumably continue to seek ways of weakening or destabilising the Khartoum government by keeping the conflict going, hoping that there might be some sort of Western military intervention which the ultra-Islamist Popular Congress would then be able to exploit domestically.

There are also question marks over the Sudan Liberation Army’s genuine commitment to the peace process. The SLA’s transparent attempt to launch attacks in December 2004 in violation of international ceasefire agreements by using front groups such as the “Sudanese National Movement for the Eradication of Marginalisation” does not augur well. It demonstrates a cynical intention on the part of the SLA to continue violence while paying vestigial lip-service to a peace process. That both rebel movements have procrastinated within, and delayed, the peace process is a matter of record. In addition to being obstructionist during the rounds of peace talks, they have also sought to destabilise the peace process itself by first objecting to the Chad government’s (successful) attempts at mediation, and then by refusing to continue with African Union mediation.

Even assuming that the rebel movements want peace, and they genuinely seek a political solution to the Darfur crisis, defining their political demands is difficult. For one thing, as the ICG has noted, although the rebel movements are arguing for democracy “their own democratic credentials remain open to question”. [243]

Leaving JEM’s political agenda to one side, even that of the Sudan Liberation is far from coherent. Time Magazine has noted that “The SLA’s ultimate goals remain murky. Over the years, its leaders have advocated everything from secession to greater representation in local government to the capitulation of the central government.” The anti- Khartoum International Crisis Group has also observed: “They haven’t to this day clarified their political objectives or presented them in a coherent way.” [244] The implication of this incoherence has been spelled out in October 2004 by The New York Times: “The rebels’ political goals have never been clear, beyond vague demands for the sharing of wealth and power in Sudan. That could be a potential stumbling block in [peace] talks.” [245] Two months later, in the wake of the Tawila attack, The New York Times returned to the issue: “[J]ust what does [the SLA] want politically and how does it intend to reach its objective through its gunmen…Nearly two years after the insurgency began, its political demands remain vague – beyond claims for a greater share of Sudan’s economic and political spoils.” [246]

In the absence of any coherent political agenda on the part of the Sudan Liberation Army looms the spectre of Somalian-type warlordism. In November 2004, the UN Special Envoy to Sudan spoke of this possibility. [247] Mr Pronk said that rebel leaders must control their forces or “we may soon find Darfur is ruled by warlords”. [248] The SLA’s track record in this respect has been appalling leading to direct African Union criticism of the behaviour of its members: “[W]e don’t think it is right or normal for any movement that is trying to be a political movement to be involved in banditry”. [249]

There is also considerable concern about the rebel movements’ control over its own forces. Perhaps the most benign reading of the November 2004 attacks on towns such as Tawila is that it revealed apparent rebel difficulties with regard to control of their fighters in Darfur. The UN described the rebel attack as an example of “a crisis of leadership” within the SLA. Knight-Ridder’s Sudarsan Raghavan described the situation as “an obstacle to achieving peace in Darfur”. Raghavan confirmed that “rebel forces now appear to be launching many of the disputed attacks. Black African rebels have stolen camels from Arab tribes, kidnapped civilians and attacked police stations”. [250] The African Union also stated that “It appears…that there are some problems with the chain of command of some of the movements, especially the SLA.” [251] The SLA representative to the African Union, Abdou Abdallah Ismail, denied any such problem, and insisted that the SLA “has full control over its commanders”. Ismail was clearly aware of international criticism: “I want to send a message to the international community. My guys are not going to act like bandits. We’re a movement. How can we act like thieves and protect people?” [252]

The New York Times also addressed concerns about rebel command and- control: The problems are exacerbated by what appear to be contradictory bluster and promises from the rebel camp. It remains unclear whether the attack on Tawilah, for instance, was ordered from on high, or whether it was the result of a flimsy chain of command…Their message has not been consistent. Rebel leaders late this week scrambled to publicize their commitment to a cease-fire, even after at least one of their spokesmen earlier in the week declared the truce to be over…The latest spate of hostage-taking and attacks on government targets has brought unusually harsh criticism of the SLA…Whether rebel leaders are stepping up attacks for the sake of trying to gain leverage at coming peace talks in Abuja, or whether the attacks simply signal a breakdown in their command-and-control structure also remains unknown. [253]

In the event, The New York Times reported the more benign view of Tawila, “Whatever the case, it is clear, say aid workers, United Nations officials and senior Sudanese government officials, that the Sudan Liberation Army remains a poorly organized insurgency, one whose rank-and-file fighters may be unaware of the promises made by their political leaders.” [254] There is also a question mark with regard to the political cohesion and coordination even within the political leadership. Reuters has noted that“ Internal differences, conflicting goals and a lack of coordination among Sudanese rebel groups are obstructing international efforts to reach a peace agreement with the government over Darfur, diplomats and aid workers say.” [255] Reuters quoted an African Union official as saying:“ The factionalism of the (rebel) leadership almost derailed talks in N’Djamena and set back the talks in Addis Ababa.” Reuters also pointed to the problem of “a pattern of often contradictory rebel statements from spokesmen who change frequently.” This was described by the AfricanUnion official as “a dilemma” which would get worse: “This is particularly a concern with JEM…With JEM we have had splinter groups claiming to talk for the whole group…it’s difficult to know who talks for the group.” The Sudan Liberation Army was also said to lack cohesion. SLA chairman Abd al-Wahid Mohamed al-Nur has admitted that “There are mistakes sometimes from some officials who say things that are not our policy.” Reuters observed that “[al-Nur] said he was the overall leader of the group and took the final decision in political matters. But another SLM leader, Minni Arcua Minnawi, had previously told reporters he was the leader of the group.” An aid worker who deals with the SLA leadership on a regular basis noted: “It is often unclear who speaks for the group or what section of the group they speak for. It is also unclear who speaks for the group at all and who doesn’t.” [256]

There would in any instance also appear to be major political differences between the two main rebel groups in Darfur. As early as May 2004, the International Crisis Group quoted a leading SLA member as saying: “ Continued coordination is unclear, because they [JEM] have some ambiguous political backing.” [257] In October 2004, Reuters reported that: “ The rebel movements negotiating with Sudan’s Islamist government to try to end the 20-month-old conflict in Darfur have been unable to come up with a common political framework, presenting separate documents to mediators instead.” [258] The New York Times has noted of the SLA that “splits are inevitable with its cousin rebel factions”. [259] The issue of the separation of religion and state has been cited as a major area of divergence between the two groups. Reuters noted that “the leadership of the two rebel groups have very different backgrounds. JEM’s leaders are widely believed to have retained prior links with Sudan’s opposition leader and Islamic ideologist Hassan al-Turabi, an advocate of Sharia law.” [260] In addition to tension between the Justice and Equality Movement and SLA, it appears that JEM itself has split. This resulted in the emergence of the break-away National Movement for Reform and Development. In November 2004 it was reported that clashes between rebel fighters had left 20 dead and dozens injured. [261]

There is, therefore, clearly the danger that rebellion in Darfur may encourage the emergence of further armed groups, in Darfur and in other parts of Sudan. A number of new groups, of varying credibility, have appeared on the scene. [262] Reuters has reported, for example, that the African Union presently “recognizes the SLA and the other main rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and the National Movement for Reform and Development, which split from JEM and agreed to respect a cease-fire after talks with Khartoum”. Reuters quoted Major-General Festus Okonkwo, the Nigerian commander of AU forces in Darfur, on the issue of new groups: “If we recognize too many groups, then more groups will take up arms. So the AU will not recognize any more groups.” [263]

There is another difficulty which has posed a problem in the search for peace in Darfur – those foreign governments and constituencies who, for their own political interest, would wish to see continuing conflict in Darfur and the continued destabilisation of Sudan in Darfur and elsewhere. Eritrea is an obvious candidate in this respect. The International Crisis Group has also commented upon the sometimes less than helpful role played by international observers at the peace talks themselves, citing one observer as saying “The process had too many players. It was too hard to keep the international actors united. They were a fractured, agenda-ridden group. It was a political catfight. The observers never settled their own differences.”
[264] There were also accounts of how the Darfur rebels were being encouraged by United States officials to procrastinate during peace talks in late 2004. [265]

The simple fact which must be borne in mind by those who wish to see peace in Darfur is that the rebel movements may believe that it is not in their best interests to have peace. Continued war means a continuing humanitarian crisis which in turn means continuing pressure on Khartoum, with rebel hopes that this might translate out into some form of foreign military intervention which the SLA or JEM would then be able to exploit domestically. [266] This would at least in part explain the reluctance of both rebel movements either to engage in any meaningful negotiations or then to abide by any commitments they may have signed.

Other Government Measures
In addition to clear and unambiguous engagement within the peace process, the government has also been party to a number of other measures aimed at stabilising Darfur. On 7 April 2004, the Sudanese government announced the formation of a Ministerial Committee “to end security and relief problems in Darfur region”. The Committee was entrusted with the following: to control and disarm militias and non-regular forces that target the civilian population or hinder the delivery of relief; to open all relief corridors and to secure unimpeded access to the area for humanitarian assistance; to provide basic needs for affected population in the area; and to create a conducive atmosphere for the stabilization and normalization of the situation in Darfur. The Committee visited the affected areas on 8 April 2004, accompanied by the Ambassadors of USA, EU, and France, as well as representatives of UN agencies. The Government informed the African Union that the representatives of the international organisations had confirmed an improvement in the humanitarian situation. On 10 April 2004, the Sudanese government announced an immediate investigation to prosecute those responsible for the violence in the Darfur region. In May 2004, President Omar Bashir announced the setting up of a human rights commission to probe allegations of human rights violations in Darfur. The committee is chaired by former Chief Justice Dafallah al-Haj Yousif and made up of noted anti-government human rights advocate Ghazi Suleiman, retired police general Hassan Ahmed Sidik, former army general al-Sir Mohammed Ahmed, a former commander of the Western Command, Dr Fatma Abdul-Mahmoud, National Assembly member, Hamadto Mukhtar, Chairman of the National Assembly`s Human Rights Committee, Nazir Mohammed Sarour Mohammed Ramli, a representative of the Darfur administration) and Fuad Eid, a former administrator. It would probe especially claims relating to killings, torture, the burning of villages and the seizure of property. [267] In July 2004 it was also announced that the Minister of Justice had established three committees to investigate allegations of rape in Darfur. [268] In August the justice ministry established a special committee made of female judges, police and justice ministry officials to investigate rape cases.

The government had helped facilitate numerous visits from human rights organisations and experts. From 21 April-2 May 2004, for example, a UN High Commission on Human Rights investigative team visited Darfur. Amnesty International delegations visited Darfur in January 2003 and in September 2004. A delegation from the African Human Rights Commission visited Darfur in July 2004. The Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Professor Yakin Ertürk, visited Darfur from 25 September to 2 October 2004.

In May 2004, the government announced a number of measures aimed at facilitating the arrival of humanitarian aid in Darfur and enabling waraffected civilians in Darfur to return to their home areas and to prepare for the coming agricultural season. These measures were said to be“ aimed at reducing the impacts of war and facilitating the work of Sudan’s partners in the humanitarian aid field”. To this end the government relaxed entry visas for aid workers entering Sudan. [269]

In June 2004, the Sudanese President appointed the Interior Minister, Major-General Abdul-Rahim Mohammed Hussein, as his Special Representative for Darfur, to oversee the implementation of government measures. [270] On 18 June, the President announced seven decrees: a declaration mobilising all sectors of government to restore law and order in Darfur; the establishment of special courts to prosecute criminals; the deployment of police forces to protect villages to enable civilians to return home; all ministries, particularly Agriculture and Finance, to assist with making available seeds for the coming planting season; all relevant ministries were instructed to implement the contingency plan for the development and provision of basic services in Darfur; calls for all governmental and non-governmental organisations to provide humanitarian assistance to internally-displaced people; and the promotion of a national conference to promote a national dialogue.

In early July 2004, the Sudanese government announced that it had drawn up plans to help more than a million people who fled their homes to return voluntarily and provide them with security. The returnees will be provided with services, shelter materials and food that will be adequate for three months. [271] This was followed up with further measures. On 6 July 2004, the Sudanese President’s Special Representative in Darfur, Major-General Hussein, issued 15 decrees aimed at addressing and alleviating the crisis in Darfur. These addressed security issues, the easing of aid and relief access to Darfur, human rights monitoring and the presence and work of African Union observers. [272]

On 3 July, Dr Mustafa Osman Ismail and the UN Secretary-General signed a joint communiqué establishing a Joint Implementation Mechanism, to oversee the carrying out of a mutually agreed plan of action. In addition to the government and United Nations, participation in JIM includes several partner countries and members of the League of Arab States, as well as Nigeria representing the African Union in its capacity as current AU chairman. It has since met on a number of occasions. A joint verification mission visited Darfur in late July and ascertained that the government was holding to a policy of voluntary returns and that humanitarian access had improved. [273] It was realised that commitments to disarm all militias within thirty days was unrealistic, as noted by the Secretary-General on 30 August 2004: “ Making an area the size of Darfur, with the amount of armed men and violent recent history, safe and secure for all civilians takes more than 30 days.” [274] The government committed itself to three steps: ending all offensive military operations; identifying parts of Darfur that could be made safe within 30 days; and identifying those militias over whom it had control and instructing them to lay down their weapons. Areas in each state were identified, and as agreed through JIM, the government commenced the large-scale deployment of some 6,000 policemen to maintain security and protect displaced persons’ camps in Darfur. They would be tasked with assisting with the delivery of relief supplies and the provision of medical supplies. [275] An additional 2,000 policemen were deployed in mid-August. [276] By the end of 2004, some 12,000 policemen had been moved from other areas of Sudan into Darfur. The United Nations noted that “the enlarged police force appears to be of a well disciplined quality.”

In his 30 August report, the Secretary-General noted that “the disarming of members of the [Popular Defense Forces]…has started. The second joint verification mission observed a demobilization ceremony of about 300 PDF soldiers in West Darfur…In South Darfur, the joint verification mission on 27 August inspected 157 arms in Kass that had been given up by members of the PDF the previous day, and was told about similar efforts in other locations in South Darfur.” [277]

In keeping with the United Nations plan of action, the government convened a conference of local leaders from Darfur. This was held in Khartoum from 11-12 August. The conference reviewed draft legislation on “the native administration of the three Darfur states”. The United Nations Secretary-General noted that “the participants adequately covered the three Darfur states, and all major tribes and the interests of both pastoralists and nomads were well represented. Most of the traditional local leaders were present, including leaders who were known to have political views at variance with those of the Government.” The Native Administration Law for the Three Darfur States was passed by presidential decree on 19 August 2004 and the United Nations states that it “contains criteria for the selection of local administrators and provisions relating to administrative, security, judicial, executive and other issues. The law provides for a general framework…to help address the conflict in Darfur in a transparent and sustainable manner.” [278]

In building the case for peace in Darfur, the government convened a meeting in Nyala, South Darfur, for the leaders of six tribes caught up in the conflict. The tribes agreed to a ceasefire and to waive claims for compensation and blood money. [279]

The United Nations has noted the government’s commitment to a peaceful solution to the Darfur conflict. In his February 2005 comments to the United Nations Security Council meeting on Sudan, the UN Envoy to Sudan, Mr Jan Pronk, stated: “The good news is that the government has shown a willingness to negotiate, toughly, but seriously, on the basis of principles concerning the sharing of power and wealth that have resulted in the Naivasha peace agreement. The Government has recently confirmed its commitment to such talks. President Bashir and Vice President Taha have made it quite clear: the objective is peace through negotiations, in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan.” [280] By contrast, the UN Secretary-General’s February 2005 assessment of the preceding six month period with regard to the rebel movements was bleak: “Over this period, the rebel movements have become less cooperative in talks. Their attacks on police have increased and often seemed intended to invite retaliation.” [281] In a further complication, tensions between SLA military commanders and the exiled political leadership resurfaced in early 2005. The military leadership were reported to have distanced themselves from the SLA chairman Abd al- Walid Mohamed al-Nur and the Secretary-General Minni Arkou Minawi.


123 “Sudan Govt, SLA Rebels Peace Talks Break Down in Chad”, News Article by Associated Press, 16 December 2003.
124 Quoted in Scott Anderson, “How Did Darfur Happen?”, The New York Times Magazine, 17 October 2004.
125 “U.N. Says Darfur Rebel Threat Spells Disaster”, News Article by Reuters, 5 January 2005.
126 See, as but two examples, “Government Prefers Political Solution to Darfur Problem, Sudan’s FM Says”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 20 January 2004 and “Gov’t Stresses Commitment to Just and Peaceful Solution to Darfur Conflict”, News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 24 March 2004.
127 See, for example, “Sudan Hopes Peace Deal Ends Darfur Crisis”, News Article by Associated Press, 8 January 2005 and “Sudan Committed to Peace in South and Pursuing Solution to Darfur Crisis”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 2 January 2005.
128 “Nigerian Leader Vows AU Will Secure Darfur Peace”, News Article by Reuters, 8 January 2005.
129 “Sudanese VP Pledges To Hold Soon Talks With Darfur Rebels”, News Article by Sudan NewsAgency, 14 January 2004. Vice-President Taha’s involvement has been welcomed by the United States: “US Hail Choice of Sudan’s VP to Conduct Peace Talks with Darfur Rebels”, News Article by Sudan Media Center (Khartoum), 15 January 2005.
130 “Sudan’s VP: Darfur Easier to Resolve than South War”, News Article by Associated Press, 17 January 2005.
131 See, for example, “Sudanese Govt, Opposition Alliance to Work Together to End Darfur Conflict”, News Article by Associated Press, 18 January 2005. The government has already agreed a joint approach with the opposition Umma Party, see “Shared Vision Between the National Congress and Umma Party on the Problem of Darfur”, in the Umma File on Darfur, < http://www.umma.org>.
132 See, for example, “African Union to Deploy Darfur Ceasefire Monitors”, News Article by Reuters, 14 April 2004; “Sudan Agrees to 3,500 Extra AU Troops – AU Source”, News Article by Reuters, 1 October 2004, and “Sudan Urges AU to Fulfil Commitment on Darfur”, News Article by Xinhua News Agency, 30 November 2004.
133 “Nigerian Leader Vows AU Will Secure Darfur Peace”, News Article by Reuters, 8 January 2005.
134 See, for example, “Sudan to Hold Conference in Bid to Quell Tribal Violence in Darfur”, News Article by Associated Press, 22 February 2003.
135 “Dialogue with Darfur Rebels Achieved “Some Positive Results”- Minister”, Al-Khartoum (Khartoum), 18 March 2003.
136 “West Sudan Rebels Agree to Face-to-Face Aid Talks”, News Article by Reuters, 3 February 2004.
137 “Sudan Vice-President Holds Talks With Rebel Leader”, News Article by Xinhua News Agency, 24 January 2004.
138 “Sudan Says Ready to Talk Peace to Darfur Rebels”, News Article by Reuters, 13 January 2004.
139 See, for example, “Sudan Seeks Talks with New Rebel Groups in Darfur: SUNA”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 8 December 2004: “Sudan Starts Talks with 3rd Darfur Rebel Group”, News Article by Reuters, 14 December 2004; “Third Darfur Rebel Group Signs Peace Pact with Sudan Government”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 17 December 2004 and “Sudanese Government Agrees Dialogue with New Darfur Rebel Group”, News Article by Xinhua News Agency, 6 December 2004.
140 See, for example, “How Credible is Darfur’s Third Rebel Movement?”, News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 13 January 2005. NMRD was said to have some 1,000 fighters under arms.
141 “Sudan Hails New Chad Mediation in Rebellion-hit Western Darfur: Report”, News Article by Agence France Press, 3 February 2004.
142 “Sudan Govt, SLA Rebels Peace Talks Break Down in Chad”, News Article by Associated Press, 16 December 2003.
143 Darfur Rising: Sudan’s New Crisis, International Crisis Group, Africa Report No 76, Brussels, 5 March 2004.
144 “Peace Talks Break Off Between Sudan Government and Darfur Rebels”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 16 December 2003.
145 “Sudan Charges That Meddling Sabotaged Chad-Hosted Peace Talks”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 17 December 2003.
146 “Sudan Accuses Eritrea, Popular Congress Party of Supporting Darfur Rebels”, News Article by Agence France Press, 19 December 2003.
147 “W. Sudan Rebels Say Killed 1,000 Govt Troops, Militia”, News Article by Reuters, 19 January 2004.
148 “Sudan: Government Stresses Commitment to Just and Peaceful Solution to Darfur Conflict”, News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 24 March 2004.
149 “Khartoum Blames Darfur Rebels for Blocking Aid”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 24 March 2004
150 “Government and Rebels Agree 45-day Ceasefire”, News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 9 April 2004.
151 “Government and Rebels Agree 45-day Ceasefire”, News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 9 April 2004.
152 “Sudan Welcomes African Ceasefire Monitoring Teams for Darfur”, News Article by Sudan News Agency, 16 April 2004.
153 “African Union to Deploy Darfur Ceasefire Monitors”, News Article by Reuters, 14 April 2004.
154 “Uncertainty Over Peace Talks with W. Sudan Rebels”, News Article by Reuters, 17 April 2004.
155 Sudan Now or Never, International Crisis Group, Africa Report No 80, Brussels, 21 May 2004. See also “Talks on Sudan’s Darfur Conflict Postponed a Day as Rebel Split Appears”, News Article by Agence France-Presse, 20 April 2004.
156 Sudan Now or Never, International Crisis Group, Africa Report No 80, Brussels, 21 May 2004.
157 “W. Sudan Rebels Say Unlikely to go to Peace Talks, Want Eritrean Mediation”, News Article by Reuters, 15 April 2004.
158 “US Warns Sudan Rebels Against Boycott of Darfur Peace Talks”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 17 April 2004.
159 See “Khartoum opens secret channel with a Darfur rebel faction”, News Article by Al-Jazeera, 22 April 2004. Also “Joint Communique”, (in Arabic), 28 March 2004, < http://www.sudanjem.com>
160 “Sudan Government Says Darfur Rebels Violating Ceasefire”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 5 May 2004.
161 “W. Sudan Rebel Attack Leaves Darfur Village in Flames, Some Dead: Governor”, News Article by Associated Press, 24 May 2004. See also “Government lodged complaints against Darfur rebels with Chadian mediator”, (in Arabic), News Article by Middle East News Agency, 2 May 2004.
162 “Darfur Rebels Reject Invitation to Hold Talks with Sudan’s Government in Ethiopia”, Sudan Tribune, 22 May 2004.
163 “Khartoum, Observers Sign Deal on Monitoring Darfur Ceasefire”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 4 June 2004.
164 “African Observers Open HQ in Darfur”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 9 June 2004.
165 “Sudanese President Committed to Ending Conflict in Western Darfur Region”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 7 June 2004.
166 “Sudan President Urges the Holding of National Conference on Darfur”, News Article by Sudan News Agency, 12 June 2004.
167 “Sudanese Government to Hold Talks with Darfur Rebels in Germany”, News Article by Associated Press, 21 June 2004. 168 “Sudanese Minister in Paris for Talks with Darfur Rebels: Embassy”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 24 June 2004. 169 “Darfur Rebels Say Won’t Attend Peace Talks”, News Article by Reuters, 2 July 2004
170 “Darfur Rebel Group Rejects Call for Negotiations”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 3 July 2004.
171 “Violence Anew in Sudan’s South and West”, News Article by UPI, 9 July 2004.
172 “Darfur Peace Moves Collapse as Rebels Quit”, News Article by al-Jazeera, 18 July 2004.
173 “Sudanese Rebels Urged to Return Vehicles Seized from British Charity”, News Article by Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 13 July 2004.
174 “Text of Statement Issued by Minister of Information and Official Government Spokesman”,News Article by Sudan News Agency, 27 July 2004.
175 “African Union to Deploy Peacekeeping Force in Sudan’s Darfur Region: AU”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 4 August 2004.
176 “Sudan Vows Open Mind in Darfur Talks – But No Magic Wand in Sight”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 20 August 2004.
177 “Sudan Peace Talks Deadlocked as Rebels Backtrack on Agenda”, News Article by Agence France-Presse, 24 August 2004.
178 “Sudan Agrees That AU Troops Can Disarm Rebels, Talks Reopen”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 25 August 2004.
179 “Sudan Peace Talks Delayed as Rebels Refuse Demobilisation”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 25 August 2004.
180 Scott Anderson, “How Did Darfur Happen?”, The New York Times Magazine, 17 October 2004.
181 “Misreading the Truth in Sudan”, The New York Times, 9 August 2004
182 “Sudan’s Foreign Minister Says UN SC Measure on Darfur Will Encourage Rebels”, News Article by United Nations News Service, 23 September 2004.
183 “Sudan Agrees to 3,500 Extra AU Troops – AU Source”, News Article by Reuters, 1 October 2004.
184 “Blaming Rebels, UN Envoy to Sudan Warns That Security Remains Elusive in Darfur”, New Article by UN News Service (New York), 28 October 2004.
185 “Darfur Peace Talks restart, but Rebels Not Prepared to Sign Humanitarian Protocol”, News Article by Xinhua News Agency, 26 October 2004.
186 “Darfur Rebels Storm Out of Sudan Security Meeting”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 25 October 2004.
187 “Peace Talks on Darfur Overcome Walkout by Rebels”, News Article by Deutsche Press Agentur, 25 October 2004.
188 “Sudanese Darfur Rebels Block Aid Pact for Refugees”, News Article by Reuters, 26 October 2004.
189 “Darfur Peace Talks Restart, but Rebels Not Prepared to Sign Humanitarian Protocol”, News Article by Xinhua News Agency, 26 October 2004.
190 See, for example, “Sudan, Rebels Reach Darfur Accords”, News Article by Associated Press, 9 November 2004 and “Sudan: Darfur Deal Doesn’t Exclude Right of Self-Defense”, News Article by al-Jazeera, 11 November 2004.
191 Third Round of the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on Darfur: Abuja Nigeria 21 October – 9 November 2004: Chairman’s Conclusions, African Union, Addis Ababa, 9 November 2004.
192 “Tensions Rise in Sudan as Rebels and Government Begin to Lose Control, UN Says”, News Article by the UN News Centre”, 4 November 2004.
193 “Sudan Accuses United Nations of Criticizing Government While Ignoring Rebel Violence”, News Article by Associated Press, 6 November 2004.
194 “Press Release No. 112/2004”, African Union, Addis Ababa, 10 December 2004.
195 “Renewed Fighting Shuts Down WFP Operations in North Darfur”, Statement by World Food Programme, Nairobi, 25 November 2004.
196 “UN Condemns Darfur Rebel Attacks”, News Article by United Nations News Centre, 24 November 2004.
197 “Sudan Says 22 Policemen, a Doctor and two Civilians were Killed in Rebel Attacks”, News Article by Associated Press, 24 November 2004.
198 “Darfur Rebels Defy Ceasefire”, News Article by Associated Press, 23 November 2004.
199 Report of the Ceasefire Commission on the Situation in Darfur, African Union, Addis Ababa, 4 October 2004.
200 “Achievements on Humanitarian Access in Darfur ‘Fast Falling Apart’”, Press Release by Oxfam UK, 18 November 2004.
201 News at 7pm, Channel Four (London), 16 December 2004.
202 “Renewed Fighting Shuts Down WFP Operations in North Darfur”, Statement by World Food Programme, Nairobi, 25 November 2004.
203 “Fresh Violence Engulfs Darfur”, The New York Times, 27 November 2004.
204 “UN Envoy Blames Rebels for Renewed Fighting in North Darfur”, News Article by Associated Press, 26 November 2004.
205 “World Should Hold Darfur Rebels Accountable – UN’s Pronk”, News Article by Reuters, 25 November 2004.
206 “US Blames Darfur Rebels for New Fighting”, News Article by UPI, 24 November 2004. See also, for example, “U.S. Warns Rebels to Curb Attacks in Darfur”, News Article by Reuters, 29 October 2004; “U.S., U.N. Condemn Sudan Attacks”, News Article by CNN, 24 November 2005 and “France Condemns SLA Rebel Attack in Sudan’s Darfur”, News Article by KUNA, 26 November 2004.
207 News at 7pm, Channel Four (London), 16 December 2004.
208 “Helicopter Attack Hits African Union’s Bid for Sudan Peace”, The Independent (London), 21 December 2004.
209 “North Darfur Governor Calls for Return of Aid Groups, Reaches Out to Rebels”, News Article by Associated Press, 28 November 2004.
210 “Leader of Darfur Rebels Resorts to Damage Control”, The New York Times, 5 December 2004.
211 “Sudan Says Rebels Kill 89”, News Article by Reuters, 5 December 2004.
212 “Government Accuses Rebels of Increasing Attacks on Major Roads in Darfur “, News Article by Associated Press, 5 December 2004.
213 “Darfur: Sudan Gives Fresh Conditions for Peace Talks”, Daily Trust (Abuja), 30 December 2004.
214 Report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Sudan Pursuant to Paragraphs 6, 13 and 16 of Security Council Resolution 1556 (2004), Paragraph 15 of Resolution 1564 (2004) and Paragraph 1574 (2004), S/2005/10, United Nations, New York, 7 January 2005.
215 The Secretary-General also noted in his report that the “AU clarified later that although it had some reservations initially, it had not totally rejected the offer and consideration was being given to the possibility of working with Sudanese police in protecting roads in Darfur.”
216 Report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Sudan Pursuant to Paragraphs 6, 13 and 16 of Security Council Resolution 1556 (2004), Paragraph 15 of Resolution 1564 (2004) and Paragraph 1574 (2004), S/2005/10, United Nations, New York, 7 January 2005.
217 Dr Mustapha Osman Ismail quoted in “Sudan’s Foreign Minister Urges Complete Deployment of African Union Troops to Darfur”, News Article by Associated Press, 13 January 2005.
218 “Sudan Expects Darfur Peace Settlement in Two Months: Minister”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 7 December 2004.
219 “Sudan Accuses Rebels of Attacks in Darfur”, News Article by Associated Press, 3 December 2004.
220 “Leader of Darfur Rebels Resorts to Damage Control”, The New York Times, 5 December 2004.
221 “Sudan Split on Peace Chances”, News Article by Reuters, 9 December 2004.
222 “AU in desperate move to save peace talks on Darfur crisis after rebels’ boycott”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 14 December 2004.
223 “Violence Pushes Peace Talks Off Track”, News Article by UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, 13 December 2004.
224 “Darfur Rebels Suspend Participation in Sudan Peace Talks”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 13 December 2004.
225 See, for example, “AU Says Sudan has Started Darfur Troop Withdrawal”, News Article by Reuters, 18 December 2004 and “Sudan Withdrawing Forces From Darfur”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 18 December 2004.
226 “Sudan Rebels Reject Libyan Proposal on Darfur, Talks to End Tuesday”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 20 December 2004.
227 “Sudan Rebels Vow No New Attacks”, News Article by Associated Press, 21 December 2004.
228 “Stalled Darfur Peace Talks Suspended Until January”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 22 December 2004.
229 “Fighting in Ghubaysh Hinders Humanitarian Assistance”, Press Release by Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sudan, Khartoum, 28 December 2004.
230 “Darfur Rebel Group Rejects Return to Talks”, News Article by Reuters, 24 December 2004.
231 See, for example, “Rebels Withdraw From the Negotiations: Khartoum Proposes Federation for Darfur”, News Article by Arabic.News, 27 December 2004.
232 “Sudanese Govt Urges Rebels’ Commitment to Darfur Peace Talks”, News Article by Xinhua News Agnecy, 29 December 2004.
233 “U.N. Says Darfur Rebel Threat Spells Disaster”, News Article by Reuters, 5 January 2005.
234 Ibid.
235 “At Least Seven Killed in Darfur Clashes: Sudan Police”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 13 January 2005.
236 See, “New Rebel Group Claims Sudan Oil Attack”, News Article by Reuters, 20 December 2004 and “Sudan Rebels Say Attack Government Near Darfur”, News Article by Reuters, 27 December 2004.
237 “Nigerian Leader Vows AU Will Secure Darfur Peace”, News Article by Reuters, 8 January 2005.
238 “Sudan Says Darfur Rebel Groups Involved in Attack”, News Article by Reuters, 30 December 2004.
239 “Sudan’s Foreign Miniter Urges Complete Deployment of African Union Troops to Darfur”, News Article by Associated Press, 13 January 2005.
240 “Sudan Urges AU to Fulfil Commitment on Darfur”, News Article by Xinhua News Agency, 1 December 2004.
241 Sudan Now or Never, International Crisis Group, Africa Report No 80, Brussels, 21 May 2004.
242 See, for example, “Sudan’s Foreign Minister Backs Darfur Autonomy”, News Article by Reuters, 27 September 2004 and “Sudan Supports Darfur Federal Rule, Local Laws”, News Article by Reuters, 3 October 2004.
243 Sudan Now or Never, International Crisis Group, Africa Report No 80, Brussels, 21 May 2004.
244 “Power Struggle: Darfur’s Janjaweed Militia Aren’t the Only Ones Sowing Chaos and Death. Meet the Two Rebel Factions Threatening Yet Another Civil War”, Time, 31 October 2004.
245 “New Guerilla Factions Snarl Sudan Peace Talks”, The New York Times, 26 October 2004.
246 “Leader of Darfur Rebels Resorts to Damage Control”, The New York Times, 5 December 2004.
247 “UN Warns That Darfur Could Descend into Anarchy with Warlords”, News Article by Associated Press, 4 November 2004.
248 “Tensions Rise in Sudan as Rebels and Government Begin to Lose Control, UN Says”, News Article by the UN News Centre”, 4 November 2004.
249 “U.S., U.N. Condemn Sudan Attacks”, News Article by CNN, 24 November 2005.
250 “Independence of Darfur Rebel Commanders Threatens Peace Efforts”, News Article by Knight Ridder Newspapers, 4 December 2004.
251 “U.S., U.N. Condemn Sudan Attacks”, News Article by CNN, 24 November 2005.
252 “Independence of Darfur Rebel Commanders Threatens Peace Efforts”, News Article by Knight Ridder Newspapers, 4 December 2004.
253 “Fresh Violence Engulfs Darfur”, The New York Times, 27 November 2004.
254 “Fresh Violence Engulfs Darfur”, The New York Times, 27 November 2004.
255 “Sudanese Government Not the Only Obstacle to Darfur Agreement”, News Article by Reuters, 16 August 2004.
256 Ibid.
257 Sudan Now or Never, International Crisis Group, Africa Report No 80, Brussels, 21 May 2004.
258 “Darfur Rebels Split Over Secular State Demands”, News Article by Reuters, 31 October 2004.
259 “Leader of Darfur Rebels Resorts to Damage Control”, The New York Times, 5 December 2004.
260 “Darfur Rebels Split Over Secular State Demands”, News Article by Reuters, 31 October 2004.
261 “Clashes between Darfur Rebels Leaves 20 Dead: SMC”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 4 November 2004.
262 See, also, for example, “Two New Rebel Factions Threaten Peace Efforts in Darfur”, News Article by Reuters, 24 October 2004; “New Guerilla Factions Snarl Sudan Peace Talks”, The New York Times, 26 October 2004; “New Armed Militias Emerge in Sudan’s Darfur Region”, News Article by al-Hayat (Khartoum), 27 October 2004.
263 “Nigerian Leader Vows AU Will Secure Darfur Peace”, News Article by Reuters, 8 January 2005.
264 Sudan Now or Never, International Crisis Group, Africa Report No 80, Brussels, 21 May 2004.
265 Personal conversation with journalists.
266 See, for example, “Darfur Rebel Leader Urges Immediate US-British Military Intervention”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 11 August 2004.
267 See, for example, “Sudanese President Sets Up Fact-Finding Committee for Darfur”, News Article by Sudan News Agency, 9 May 2004; “Bashir Sets Up Panel to Probe Human Rights Abuses in Darfur”, News Article by PANA, 9 May 2004.
268 “Ministry of Information Issues Statement on Darfur”, News Article by Sudan News Agency, 24 July 2004.
269 “Sudan Adopts New Measures to Facilitate Delivery of Humanitarian Aid in Darfur”, News Article by Sudan News Agency, 20 May 2004.
270 “Sudan’s Ruling Party Approves Nomination of a Presidential Representative in Darfur”, News Article by Sudan News Agency, 25 June 2004.
271 “Sudan Draws Up Plan to Get Darfur Displaced Back Home”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 4 July 2004.
272 “Government Measures to Alleviate the Darfur Crisis”, News Article by Sudan News Agency, 6 July 2004.
273 Report of the Secretary-General Pursuant to Paragraphs 6 and 13 of Security Council Resolution 1556 (2004), S/2004, United Nations, New York, 30 August 2004.
274 Ibid.
275 “Combined Police Force Heads for Troubled Darfur”, News Article by Pan African News Agency, 12 July 2004.
276 “Sudan Deploys Additional 2,000 Policemen in Darfur”, News Article by Xinhua News Agency, 17 August 2004.
277 Report of the Secretary-General Pursuant to Paragraphs 6 and 13 of Security Council Resolution 1556 (2004), S/2004, United Nations, New York, 30 August 2004.
278 Report of the Secretary-General Pursuant to Paragraphs 6 and 13 of Security Council Resolution 1556 (2004), S/2004, United Nations, New York, 30 August 2004.
279 “Leaders of Six Darfur Tribes Sign Pact to Cease Fire, Waive Claims Against Each Other and Not to Hide Fighters”, News Article by Associated Press, 16 February 2005.
280 Statement to the Security Council by Mr Jan Pronk, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations to Sudan, New York, 8 February 2005.
281 Report of the Secretary-General on the Sudan pursuant to paragraphs 6, 13 and 16 of Security Council resolution 1556 of 30 July 2004, paragraph 15 of Security Council resolution 1564 of 19 September 2004, and paragraph 17 of Security Council resolution 1574 of 18 November 2004, United Nations, S/2005/68, New York, 5 February 2005.
282 See, for example, “East of the Border”, Africa Confidential (London), Volume 46, Number 4, 18 February 2005.



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