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Growing expectations of Sudan govt.-rebel SPLM-N peace deal

December 23 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Map: South Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan (pbs.org)
Map: South Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan (pbs.org)

Government officials and media sources in Sudan are pointing to growing expectations of a peace deal between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) on the war-torn southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Following informal talks in Addis Ababa earlier this month, the Sudanese government delegation reported that they have reached “broad understandings” on outstanding issues, and hinted at the possibility of the signing of a peace agreement at the end of this month.

Last Wednesday, a closed-door meeting between the government and rebel delegations took place in the Ethiopian capital. They briefed the head of AU mediation team, Thabo Mbeki, on the outcome of the latest direct talks that were held without the presence of mediators.

In a report on the negotiations aired on the pro-government Ashorooq satellite channel, the head of the government delegation, Presidential Assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamed, and SPLM-N Secretary General Yasir Arman were shown standing together, chatting and smiling, as the station reported on the likelihood of a peace deal between the two sides.

A member of the government negotiating team, Bishara Juma Aror, noted that there have been significant new understandings reached between the warring parties after the last meeting in Addis Ababa.

“The African mediators and UN envoy were surprised by the outcome of the informal talks, after the two sides developed a strong confidence between them,” he said.

The SPLM-N and the Sudanese government have been fighting each other in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile since 2011.

Both parties announced a unilateral ceasefire earlier this year as a sign of goodwill. The Sudanese government promised amnesty to SPLM-N leaders if they would join the National Dialogue in Khartoum.

(Source: Radio Tamazuj)


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