February 17, 2009
The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), western Darfur’s most influential rebel group, and the Khartoum government have signed a joint declaration of good intention. Representatives of the two groups have been meeting in Qatar this past week. Sponsors of the meetings include Qatar, the United Nations, African Union and Arab League.
The sponsors say, whereas the agreement is hopeful, the talks are preliminary and intended to pave the way for a broader peace. Other rebel factions are refusing to talk to Khartoum and say the peace drive will fall without them.
Fragile as it is, the agreement is a positive first step.