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The Darfur Peace Process: Recipe for a Bad Deal?

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The Darfur Peace Process: Recipe for a Bad Deal?

Posted by Enough Team on April 6, 2010

 

Enough Project & Center for American Progress

For Immediate Release
April 6, 2010

Contact
Jonathan Hutson, 202-386-1618
jhutson@enoughproject.org

REPORT: The Darfur Peace Process: Recipe for a Bad Deal?

Read the report.

WASHINGTON, D.C. Even as violence continues in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur, negotiators in the Qatari city of Doha are attempting to hammer out a peace deal for this western region of Sudan. While some observers have hailed these talks between rebel forces and the Government of Sudan as a major breakthrough, there are numerous reasons why enthusiasm should be tempered argues ‘The Darfur Peace Process: Recipe for a Bad Deal?,’ a short report from the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress.

Enough’s report on the Doha peace process builds upon an update that Enough released at the start of negotiations. Close monitoring of the highly fluid Doha peace process over the past month reveals a dramatic disconnect between the deal brokering in Qatar and the reality of violence on the ground in Darfur. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s declaration that “the war in Darfur” is over cannot be taken at face value.

There is tangible evidence — including the fact that the army is pursuing an offensive in Jebel Marra –that Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party, or NCP, continues to negotiate in bad faith, the strategy paper notes. The Government of Sudan has a strong interest in appearing conciliatory, not least because it hopes to legitimize itself in time for the elections now just days away, but its actions on the ground have worsened in recent weeks. Furthermore, tensions within and among rebel groups, fragile and shifting alliances, and a lack of transparency have characterized the Doha negotiations to date.

“The Doha process is hampered by backroom deals that put the Sudanese government in a strong, omniscient position while rebel groups jockey for temporary advantages, with little consideration for how their lack of unity leaves them collectively susceptible to government manipulation,” says Enough Project Advisor Omer Ismail, who travels regularly to the region. “With so many players clamoring for short-term gains without comprehensive knowledge or long-term outlooks, I fear we will see a replay of the 2006 Abuja talks’ failure.”

“There is much in the recent talks to suggest they are not built for success,” says John Norris, the Enough Project’s Executive Director. “The current Doha process replicates many of the exact same mistakes of earlier failed agreements at a time when the international community, frankly, should know better.”

Read ‘The Darfur Peace Process: Recipe for a Bad Deal?’.

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The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, Chad, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, contact Jonathan Hutson, jhutson [AT] enoughproject.org, 202-386-1618.

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