On 14 July 2011 the Doha Document for Peace was signed by the government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement – an umbrella group of rebel splinter factions – in Doha, Qatar.
The Doha Document for Peace (Doha Accord) was supposed to provide a comprehensive roadmap towards establishing peace in Darfur. It was the result of two and a half years of negotiations and consultations with the major parties to the Darfur conflict. The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) became the second rebel group to commit to the Accord in January 2013.
The civil war in Darfur began in 2003. The Sudanese government supported Arab militia – the Janjaweed – who had destroyed hundreds of villages and murdered thousands of people. These atrocities have been condemned as genocide by the International Criminal Court and several governments around the world. By the time the Accord was created, an estimated 300,000 people had been killed and another 2.7 million people had been displaced by the conflict.
With the help of the United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur and the Qatari government, the Doha Accord paved the way for a ceasefire agreement between the government of Sudan and the JEM on 10 February 2013, followed by a peace agreement on 6 April 2013. However, levels of violence in Darfur remained high between the Sudanese government and rebel groups that had not signed the Accord. Conflict between non-governmental armed groups also escalated and implementation of the Doha Accord stagnated over the following years.
Debay Manees, survivor of the genocide in Darfur says:
I hope there will truly be peace and people stop killing each other – we have to solve the problems and build a country which treats people equally. People shouldn’t be killed for their personal beliefs.