Al-Bashir vows to end Darfur fighting

On the eve of Abuja talks, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has pledged to end the war in Darfur on the basis of devolution and the sharing of wealth and power.

    Al-Bashir says his government is committed to the Abuja process

    "We are going to enter the talks with one delegation ... I came here because I hope this should be the final round," he said, reiterating his professed commitment to the Abuja peace process.

    The Sudan government's negotiating team is due to arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday.

    "(We want to) achieve a peace agreement between all the people of Darfur which includes decentralised rule and equality of justice and wealth," al-Bashir said in a speech to the parliament in Khartoum on Monday.

    For their part, rival rebel leaders from the Sudanese region of Darfur have sounded a rare note of unity after they worked on a common negotiating position for the seventh round of peace talks with the government.

    Infighting on hold

    Minni Arcua Minnawi and Abd al-Wahid Muhammad al-Nur, who both claim to be chairman of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), said they would put on hold infighting that had held back progress in previous rounds of peace talks in the Nigerian capital.

    Wealth- and power-sharing are
    the core of the Darfur conflict

    "I don't want to make any competition here, because our people on the ground need us to remain united. Any division and the only winner is the government of Sudan," al-Nur said in Abuja on Monday, where the talks are due to start on Tuesday.
       
    Minnawi, who boycotted the previous round and whose participation is seen as crucial because he commands loyalty from many fighters in the field, had a similar message.
       
    The rebels have said they are eager to start discussing the issues of wealth-sharing, power-sharing and security that lie at the root of the Darfur conflict, which has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced more than two million into
    refugee camps in the vast desert region.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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