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INSIDE STORY
Peace for Darfur?
Talks to end the long-running conflict are taking place in Qatar.
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2010 09:32 GMT



It is a conflict which has lasted seven years, killed tens of thousands and displaced millions in Darfur.

Rebel groups accuse the government of neglect and discrimination. Now the biggest armed faction, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), has signed a temporary ceasefire with Khartoum.

The deal was announced in neighbouring Chad on Saturday.

JEM says it is a framework agreement for further negotiations including talks for a permanent ceasefire.
 
It is being hailed as a significant step forward and on Tuesday formal peace talks are due between JEM and the leaders of Sudan, Chad and Qatar.

But with several armed groups in attendance, with conflicting loyalties and agendas, it is unclear just how soon a deal can be ratified.

Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's president, will be hoping that an agreement will come in time for elections in April - the country's first multiparty elections in 24 years. He is also facing a referendum next year on independence for South Sudan.

JEM officials say a number of issues, including the distribution of power and wealth, still need to be fleshed out.

But can a permanent agreement be reached in Darfur? And will the people there find security at last?
 
Inside Story presenter Shiulie Gosh, discusses with guests: Abdul-rahman Ibrahim, the head of the Sudanese Lawyers Syndicate and a member of the negotiating team on Darfur, Yahia Bulad, a spokesman for the Sudan Liberation Movement, one of the main armed groups in Darfur, and Fouad Hikmat, the Horn of Africa project director for the International Crisis Group.

This episode of Inside Story aired on Monday, February 22, 2010.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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