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Global call for holdout Sudan rebels to join peace talks

September 1 - 2020 KAUDA / JUBA
SPLM-N faction leader Abdelaziz El Hilu (File photo)
SPLM-N faction leader Abdelaziz El Hilu (File photo)

Parties within Sudan and internationally have called on the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North faction under the leadership of Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu) in South Kordofan and parts of Blue Nile state, and the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement in Darfur, led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW), to join the peace negotiations.

The comprehensive peace agreement signed by the Sudanese government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance in the South Sudan capital of Juba yesterday did not include the SPLM-N El Hilu or the SLM-AW.

In speeches after the signing of the peace accord, Chairman of the Sovereign Council Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, and South Sudan President Salva Kiir, all called on El Hilu and El Nur to join the peace negotiations.

The USA, the United Kingdom, and Norway (the Troika), as well as the European Union and the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), all issued statements welcoming the accord (see further Radio Dabanga reports today). They all echoed the appeal for the remaining armed movements to join the negotiations.

“We are waiting for you. Most of the issues have been discussed, and we will work with you to reach comprehensive consensus,” El Burhan said, and affirmed the government’s keenness to resume talks with the SPLM-N El Hilu, and start negotiations with the SLM-AW.

'Sudan will not be stable and cannot remain united if the separation of religion and state is not solved' – Abdelaziz El Hilu

Sovereign Council member and government spokesman Lt Gen Shamseldin Kabbashi stated that “We will not neglect Abdelaziz El Hilu, the leader of the SPLM, just as we will not neglect the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement, Abdelwahid El Nur, who has not joined the Juba platform so far.”

He said that great efforts are being made to convince El Nur to enter negotiations “in Khartoum, Juba or any other platform”.

El Hilu described the tracks approach of the South Sudanese mediation team as “a circumvention of the discussion and treatment of the roots of the social crises in Sudan and the causes of the civil wars in the country”.

He told reporters in Kauda, the stronghold of the rebel faction in South Kordofan, that “partial solutions will only lead to continuation and further exacerbation of the factors causing the disintegration and collapse of the Sudanese state”.

Sudan will not be stable and cannot remain united if the separation of religion and state is not solved.

According to El Hilu, the obstacle for achieving peace in the negotiations with the government, consists of “the absence of political will on the government side to reach a peaceful solution to the conflict, especially as the fundamental issues we put on the negotiating table are simple, clear, and just”.

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