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The Sudanese government and militias agree to establish special war crimes court

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The Sudanese government and armed groups in Darfur have agreed to establish a special criminal court for war crimes and crimes against humanity in this African region.

On Monday, 20 January 2020 the Government and Darfur armed group delegations continued talks in the South Sudanese capital Juba, as they pledged to strike a comprehensive peace deal next month.

Speaking to reporters after a negotiation session in Juba, Ibrahim Zariba, Sudan Liberation Forces Alliance (SLFA) Negotiator,  and member of the negotiating team,  announced that progress has been made on the issue of transitional justice and reconciliation.

“The two parties agreed during yesterday’s session to establish mechanisms for justice and accountability, including the Special Court for Darfur, which will investigate and prosecute those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur,” Zariba said.

For his part, Ahmed Tugud Justice and Equality Movement Negotiator said that the talks during Monday’s session focused on the grave violations thought to have been committed by the regime of ousted President Omar al-Bashir and the impunity of the warlords.

“So, the parties agreed on all arrangements that would create a suitable environment for coexistence and stability in Darfur,” Tugug stressed.

He further pointed out that the remaining issue on Darfur can be resolved quickly and a peace agreement signed before the mid-February deadline.

Last Friday, the Government and Darfur armed groups held a joint press conference to deny statements by Minni Minnawi, leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) who had claimed the talks had been hit by a setback, accusing the authorities in Khartoum of backpedaling on previous agreements.

The Head of the Government Negotiating Team for Darfur, Mohamed Hassan al-Taishi praised the unexpected progress achieved by the parties on Monday.

He said that the agreement reached in the session on the transitional justice and reconciliation chapter is “an unexpected breakthrough”.

“The parties were determined to lay a solid foundation for justice and political stability in the country,” he further stated.

The parties did not speak about handing over Bashir to the International Criminal Court.

For his part, South Sudanese Presidential Advisor and Chief Mediator Tut Kew Gatluak told reporters that talks on the security arrangement will begin next week.

Gatluak, further, announced the arrival of the Sudanese Defence Minister Jamal Omer to Juba who would be joining the talks.



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