June 30, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The Libyan envoy to the Darfur peace talks in Doha has been ordered to return home by his government after causing troubles with rebel groups that he had helped to unite, sources tell Sudan Tribune.
The Libyan envoy, Mohamed Garsallah, had played an important role in Tripoli’s efforts to unify the different rebel factions in a group called Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-Revolutionary Forces) in August 2009.
Garsallah also collaborated with the team of the US envoy to Sudan Scott Gration to convince the rebels to create the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) on February 23, 2010. The latter is now negotiating with the Sudanese government in Doha.
The Libyan government ordered Garsallah to return to Tripoli this week after complaints by Qatari officials and Darfur rebels who claimed that he had started to encourage some rebels to leave the venue of the peace talks to Kampala and rejoin Tripoli from the Ugandan capital, the sources disclosed.
The Libyan envoy who returned to Doha without coordination with the authorities of the host country also tried to influence the decision of the leadership of LJM rebels, and his behavior irritated the group.
The decision to order his return has been taken following a recent meeting between high ranking Libyan and Qatari officials in Tripoli. Rebel sources said Garsallah during his contacts pushed them to coordinate their position with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).
JEM froze its participation in the Doha peace talks accusing Khartoum of breaching a cessation of hostilities agreement. The rebel group also accused the host country of favoring the Sudanese government.
JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim is residing in Libya after being banned entry to Chad last month. Sudanese officials accuse Ibrahim and his host country of seeking to undermine the Doha peace talks and reinitiate another mediation process in Tripoli.
Back in November 2007, the Libyan authorities failed to bring the rebel groups to Sirte which had been chosen as venue for Darfur peace talks by the former mediators.
Khartoum has sought to have Libya expel the JEM chief from its territories. So far Tripoli rejected Khartoum’s request.
JEM said recently it would not resume peace talks in Doha and suggested Tripoli as new venue for the peace process. But the Sudanese government rejected the rebel demand.
The Sudanese President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir repeated today that Doha would be the last venue for holding talks with the Darfur rebel groups outside the country.
“Whoever wants peace should go to Doha and whoever wants something else would receive a lesson they will never forget,” Bashir said on Wednesday during a speech delivered in Port Sudan in memory of the 21st anniversary of the coup that brought him to power.