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|October 16, 2008|
No rebels, no IDPs. Who will judge the proposals of Al-Bashir and his 'dignitaries' to be just?KHARTOUM (AFP) Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir on Thursday launched his "people's initiative" for peace in Darfur with an elaborate ceremony attended by regional dignitaries but no rebels involved in fighting. "Despite the difficulties and the obstacles ... we announce our resolve to find a definitive solution this time," Beshir told a large hall crammed with officials in the Sudanese capital. "We call on all concerned parties to support the state's efforts ... for peace," he said.
Numerous initiatives have been started to bring peace to the western Sudanese region since rebels there rose up against Khartoum almost six years ago, complaining of marginalisation, but all have failed.
Critics say Beshir's plan, which will involve talks on Friday and recommendations for peace on Saturday, is aimed at distracting attention from potential Darfur war crimes charges against him by the International Criminal Court.