Shogar: Darfur Should not Have a Special Status

By: Aisha Braima

KHARTOUM (SUDANOW) – Sudan News Agency (SUNA) had an interview with Adam Ali Shogar, chairman of Darfur Peace Movements Council (DPMC) which was formed in late 2014, including the movements which have signed the peace agreement. The situation and the current developments in Darfur were covered by the interview excerpts of which follow:

SUNA: Do you believe what was reached by the National Dialogue would help resolve the Darfur crisis?

Shogar: Darfur is not an exception; it is a part of the Sudan and our opposition was for the marginalized regions of the entire country, including Darfur. We wanted an inclusive constitutional reform that would grants the rights to everyone. The dialogue too was not only for Darfur but for all Sudanese people. It is noticed that all political forces did not consider the Darfur issue as a national crisis and they did not contribute to solving the problem by offering ideas, leaving this to the armed movements. But we noticed that after the dialogue all people began to consider Darfur as a national, rather than a regional issue. It was an inappropriate discrimination to form a regional authority and a peace office for Darfur because it is like all other Sudanese states and should not have a special status and the Darfur peace agreement should not have been incorporated in the Constitution. Instead, a national council for peace in Sudan should have been formed to tackle all issues of Darfur, the east and the two regions (South Kordofan and Blue Nile).

Q: Did you raise this matter during your participation in the national dialogue?

A: In fact I did not raise this issue in the national dialogue conference, which had discussed in more than four months many of the major national issues, but I made this in articles published in the newspapers and broadcast on the radio. We, as DPMC, had a prominent presence in the six committees of the national dialogue conference and willingly offered good ideas as we had a cause when we took up arms and we saw that the issues to be discussed by dialogue were the same ones we fought for, which meant that we were more concerned than the others with the national dialogue. For this reason we fervently participated in the conference and presented all our causes for discussion.

Q: The government has announced that the administrative referendum will be organized on April 11, what do you think of that?

A: personally, I think the referendum should be postponed until the end of the national dialogue which has approved the states' as a system of administration all over the country to avert the likelihood that the referendum would come up with a position contrary to the resolution by the dialogue.

Q: Many political forces have announced their positions with regard to either option- the states or the region- ahead of the referendum. Which of the two options does your Council prefer?

A: We, as a Council, and I personally, support the states system. Personally, I like the Nigerian districts system which is an ideal way of government. There are many countries, like the United States of America, Canada and Switzerland, which adopt this system which shortens the administrative umbrella and allows all people to share the power.

Q: How do you view the President's visit to Darfur during April 1-5?

A: The visit provides the President with an opportunity to have an insight into the situation in Darfur after the war. It also offers evidence that the security has been restored and that there is no longer any rebellion in Darfur, except for a few lawless pockets here and there. I underline the importance of consideration of aspirations by the people of Darfur for development, improvement of the conditions of the displaced persons and collection of weapons from everyone except the armed forces. I also call for integration of the people who were demobilized from the movements which opted for peace into the organized forces or in the community so that they would not be recruited by hostile groups, particularly as they are trained in the use of weapons and in killing and can easily be recruited because they are jobless.

Q: The government has recently signed a roadmap with the African mediators. Do you think that this roadmap will support the dialogue process?

A: The African mediation body is recognized by the opposition which has to respect it because it has no interest with the government. I call upon the rejectionists to be wise enough and sign the clear-cut roadmap.

Q: What message do you have for the future forces alliance which has recently been formed and which are opposed to the dialogue?

A: Most of those forces have similar ideas and it is unacceptable of them to reject the dialogue. I call upon them to seize this opportunity because every problem can be resolved through dialogue and everyone who respects the public interest must sit down for dialogue so that we can build the country for the coming generations. We have laid down the arms and joined the dialogue because we were convinced that any problem has to be resolved through dialogue and they should understand this.

Q: What is your message to the armed opposition which also rejects the dialogue?

A: From this platform I call upon our brothers Abdul Aziz al-Hilo, Malik Agar and Yassir Arman of the SPLM-N to sit down for dialogue with the government without heeding foreign interferences. I advise them that the problem of the Two Areas cannot be solved by South Sudan because the latter has become an independent state. My message to all of the armed opposition is that the stage for seizing power through an armed process has ended for ever and no option remains other than dialogue for resolving all of our problems. We have been the first people that have obtained independence but we could not bear and respect each other but the President's initiative has provided an opportunity starting to build this country.

Q: The Sudan has made a breakthrough in the Arab world and has joined regional alliances. What do you think of that?

A: We appraise those good alliances as a policy of the state and, as political groups, we support those strategic alliances of common interests as viewed by the experts.



Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...


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