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AUHIP head, Salva Kiir talk about Sudan process in Juba

November 23 - 2018 JUBA / KHARTOUM
African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) chairman Thabo Mbeki (file photo)
African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) chairman Thabo Mbeki (file photo)

The head of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) has held talks in Juba with South Sudanese president Salva Kiir, focused on coordinating their efforts to achieve peace in Sudan.

President Kiir briefed AUHIP chairman Thabo Mbeki on the ongoing efforts to reunite the two factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (one faction led by Abdelaziz El Hilu, the other by Malik Agar) and the consultations with the Sudanese government in Khartoum.

A statement from the presidency of South Sudan pointed out that the meeting between Kiir and Mbeki discussed peace talks between the Sudanese government and the opposition groups, which the South Sudanese president is planning to host in Juba.

The statement called on Mbeki for his participation, cooperation and smooth facilitation of the Sudanese peace talks if they are to be held in Juba.

In the beginning of this month, the Sudanese government announced the appointment of President Kiir as mediator to settle the dispute in the Two Areas: South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Days later, Sudan government negotiator Dr Amin Hassan Omar told Sudanese press otherwise. “The role of the Government of South Sudan is only to facilitate negotiations, as happened in Berlin and Uganda. [...] “The only platform for Darfur is Doha and for the Two Areas Addis Ababa.”

SPLM-N monitors military activities

The SPLM-N faction headed by Abdelaziz El Hilu stated that it is now “closely monitoring military movements” and the activity of the Sudanese Air Force in the rebel-hold areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

Spokesman for the armed movement, Jaber Andona, stated that they are ready to deal with any aggression. The spokesman claimed that the Sudanese military is trying to recruit young people in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile areas for the Rapid Support Forces.

Both factions of the SPLM-N have declared unilateral ceasefires in their conflict with the government in the past.

Informal meetings

A meeting between the Sudanese government and the faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N) over the resumption of peace negotiations concluded without significant progress earlier this month.

The rebel faction and the Sudanese government were invited to several days of consultations in Addis Ababa and Johannesburg in October under the chairmanship of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), to discuss the draft framework agreement for 2014, the draft agreement on the cessation of hostilities for humanitarian purposes, and thirdly the Roadmap agreement of 2016.

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