Sudan accepts Salva Kiir’s mediation on Two Areas talks



November 3, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government Saturday said it has accepted the offer of South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit to facilitate negotiations with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) to end the armed conflict in the Two Areas.

The Sudanese government also welcomed the mediation undertaken by President Kiir to reunite the two factions of the SPLM-N which is now split into two factions one led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu and the second by Malik Agar.

Sudan’s Presidential Assistant Faisal Hassan Ibrahim on Friday made a lightning visit Juba where he discussed with Kiir the outcome of the recent meeting between the government and the SPLM-N faction led by Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu in South Africa.

In statements following the meeting, Ibrahim welcomed the efforts of President Kiir saying that peace and stability in the Two Areas are strategic objectives for the Sudanese government.

The presidential assistant renewed the government commitment to engage in simultaneous talks with the rebel group to discuss the political items besides the humanitarian issues and the security arrangements.

“The Government of Sudan emphasized the vision of President Salva Kiir on the need for a single national army to ensure that the South Sudanese experience would not be repeated,” he further stressed

The SPLM-N al-Hilu decided in October 2017 to make the self-determination for the Nuba Mountains as a basis for talks with the government. Also, it requests to maintain for a long period the rebel army after the signing of a peace agreement.

However, the head of the government negotiating team said al-Hilu reiterated their commitment to the unity of Sudan.

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Upon an invitation by the African Union High-Level Implementation Mechanism, the Sudanese government and the SPLM-N al-Hilu held a series of meetings in Addis Ababa and Johannesburg from 19 to 30 October 2018.

The Sudanese official who for the first time confirms the secrets consultations with the SPLM-N al-Hilu said the peace talks would resume in December.

He pointed out that the government delegation agreed to discuss the national political issues despite their conviction that these issues were included in the recommendations of the national dialogue and the National Document.

During these meetings, the AUHIP proposed to agree on three documents: the draft Framework Agreement for 2014, the draft Agreement on the cessation of hostilities for humanitarian purposes, and the Roadmap Agreement of 2016 as the mediation consider to amend it to move directly to the constitutional conference after the conclusion of a peace agreement.

The government proposed to resume discussions from where it had been stopped in 2016 with discussions on the security and humanitarian files. But the SPLM-N al-Hilu said not interested in the previous talks and proposed to engage with the political issues and to move after that to the security and humanitarian files.

The Sudanese officials, also, confirmed reports about efforts by President Kiir to reconcile the two factions of SPLM-N saying they welcomed this imitative but didn’t provide more details on the ongoing mediation.

The SPLM-N, which has been fighting the government in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, also known as Two Areas, since June 2011, split last year into two factions, one is led by Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu and the other is led by Malik Agar.

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The split was a result of differences over a number of organizational matters as well as the position to adopt in the peace talks.

Al-Hilu who was the deputy chairman blamed the negotiating team led by Yasir Arman for ignoring the demand of the Nuba Mountains for self-determination. Also, he wanted to maintain the rebel army for a twenty-year period before to decide on the future of the region.

(ST)





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