May 9 new deadline for Sudan final peace accord
The Sudanese government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance have agreed to extend the negotiations period to May 9. They will continue to discuss the peace items through teleconferencing, in line with distancing protocols regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Jibril Ibrahim, Chairman of the Justice and Equality Movement and SRF Secretary-General, told reporters in Juba, capital of South Sudan, on Thursday that both the sudden death of the Sudanese Minister of Defence in Juba in the end of March and the coronavirus pandemic have led to a delay of the negotiation process.
“The strong will of the parties and their firm desire to reach a comprehensive peace have led to the extension of negotiations for one month in the hope that peace will be achieved,” he said.
Ibrahim stated that the negotiating parties, in cooperation with the European Union, are working to facilitate the negotiation sessions via secure teleconferencing tools, “until the reasons that prevent the government delegation from reaching Juba have been removed”.
On April 2, South Sudan’s chief mediator Tut Galuak announced the resumption of the Sudanese peace talks in Juba, following a week’s recess to honour Sudan’s Minister of Defence, and head of the Sudan government delegation to the peace talks, Lt Gen Jamaleldin Omar, who died of a heart attack in Juba on March 25.
After Khartoum and most of Sudan’s rebel groups signed the Juba Declaration of Principles, on September 11, the first round of negotiations were launched on October 14.
Yasir Arman, member of the SRF negotiating delegation, said at the time that a comprehensive peace accord would be reached before December 14, as “specified in the Constitutional Charter”. The sessions however were suspended more than once.
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