Agreement on holding formal peace talks and on establishing a ceasefire was reached between Darfur rebels and the Sudanese Government at the Federal Foreign Office today (6 December). To this end, an agreement (the Pre-Negotiation Agreement for the Resumption of the Peace Process) was signed by the parties and Jeremiah Mamabolo, Joint Special Representative and Head of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur. The agreement was signed in the presence of State Secretary Walter Lindner and Qatari Special Envoy Mutlaq Al Qahtani. Officials from the US, France, the UK, Norway and the EU, who had actively followed and supported the negotiation process, also attended the signing ceremony.
The agreement brokered by Germany lays the foundations for resumption of the formal peace talks with mediation by Qatar. This marks the end of an informal mediation process between the Sudanese Government and two armed Darfur groups. Lasting just under two years, this process was led by the Federal Foreign Office, with support from the Berghof Foundation. The parties also agreed today that the formal negotiations would start in Doha as early as January 2019 and be chaired by Qatar.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement:
I am pleased that we were able to bring the Berlin Track of the Darfur negotiations to a successful conclusion today and to facilitate the resumption of the formal peace talks. All sides demonstrated their trust in us and showed a willingness to compromise.
We have thus taken a crucial step towards peace in the Sudan and are now handing the baton on to Qatar. The course has been set for further progress on this path, and I call on all parties to continue playing a constructive role in the peace process.
We stand ready to provide further support to the process as a partner and will actively endeavour to achieve lasting peace in Darfur and the region when we are a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. We regard peace mediation and dialogue as key instruments of civil crisis prevention and crisis management.