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New deadline set for Sudan peace negotiations

May 18 - 2020 JUBA
Members of the government and armed movements delegations in October last year (SUNA)
Members of the government and armed movements delegations in October last year (SUNA)

The South Sudanese team mediating the peace talks between the Sudanese government and the armed movements announced in Juba yesterday that the first documents of the peace agreement will be signed on June 20.

The two parties agreed on a new negotiating matrix and time schedule, that starts today and will lead up to June 19.

The mediation team has reserved the period from 18 May to 20 May to negotiate national issues between the Sudanese government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) alliance of armed movements.

The peace talks sessions will be adjourned during the Eid El Fitir holiday (the three day-feast marking the end of the Ramadan fasting month), and resume on May 27. Security arrangements in Darfur will be discussed until June 2.

From June 5 until June 11 a peace agreement matrix will be developed by a joint technical committee that includes the mediation team, the Sudanese government, the SRF, and other stakeholders. It will review, translate, and print the agreement in the period from June 12 until June 19.

Ahmed Tugud, the chief SRF negotiator on the Darfur track, said that this schedule confirms the eagerness of all parties to reach a final agreement as soon as possible and not to engage in negotiations without a deadline.

Tugud told reporters in Juba on Sunday that the negotiations will continue via video conferencing. He expects breakthroughs on the remaining files, especially the security arrangements. He hopes that the coronavirus measures will allow the negotiations to be held directly.

The peace negotiations in Juba started on October 14, 2019. The negotiations were planned to end within two months. However, the negotiations were suspended several times. Progress was made in the beginning of 2020.

The sudden death of 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, and the coronavirus pandemic led to further delays and suspensions. In the beginning of April, the Sudanese government and the SRF agreed that the negotiations should end at May 9.

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