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We will not sit down with the Sudanese government, says Darfur rebel leader

media Sudanese President Bashir delivers a speech in El-Fasher, North Darfur during a ceremony to declare an end to 13 years of conflict in Darfur, 7 September 2016. Ashraf Shazly/AFP Photo

Contrary to media reports, Abdel Wahid Al Nur, the head of the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement- Al Nur faction (SLM-AW) told RFI on Tuesday that his group is not in Khartoum, nor are they in peace negotiations with the government.

“Since Abuja in 2006 until today, we never met with the Khartoum government,” said Nur via telephone. “They get this rumor and this information in order to [give the] impression they are making peace,” he said.

“They are trying to make peace in order that US sanctions will be lifted for them for trying to make peace. They are lying,” he added.

The Sudanese government called for the armed groups in Darfur to put down their weapons and return to the negotiation table. Over the past two weeks fighting has resumed between various rebel factions and the Sudanese government forces.

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir spoke to the National Council for Strategic Planning on Monday, saying that he wanted to achieve “lasting peace” between the government and the rebel groups.

“The government is attacking us day and night in Jebel Marra” in Darfur, said Nur, saying that his group was defending themselves.

SLM-AW is one of the rebel groups who did not sign the Darfur Peace Agreement in 2006.

“There is no peace process, there is no security for the people on the ground to stop ongoing genocide, to disarm the militia of Janjaweed, and Rapid Force and all the names of those militias, [and they haven’t] removed newcomers from our people’s land in order to allow people to go back,” he said.

Nur told RFI that only disarmament of government-backed militias, compensation for the people and civil freedoms with freedom of movement and organization “will create a conducive environment in order to negotiate.”

“But without this there is no negotiation, and our position is constant since 2006 June,” he added.

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